Hi all, I've decided the time has come to reincarnate my long running 20g/75L tank. I first bought this tank in 2004 and it has been evolving ever since. But I've decided to take it down to zero and start with a clean slate.
Here's how things are looking right now:
[Photo 1 @ the bottom of this post]
Here's my vision for the rebuild:
[Photo 2,3,4 @ the bottom of this post]
I'm planning to cap the soil with the old flourite that is in the tank now, in the planted corner sections of the tank. In the central open area I'd like to use Pool filter sand (PFS) but I haven't found any in a reasonable volume yet. I have found a material to use to make some "retaining walls" to keep my substrates somewhat separate. It's plastic corrugated board, however I could only find a HUGE piece of it so I'll have enough to do my next 100 tanks (LOL):
[Photo 5 @ the bottom of this post]
I also went beach combing for some driftwood that I boiled for MANY hours:
[Photo 6 @ the bottom of this post]
I've spent some time trying to decide how I'll arrange the pieces but I still need to decide how I'll secure them together. I've thought about using silicone, I've also thought about using screws on the thicker pieces and wiring the thiner ones to those . . . I'd love to hear any suggestions!
I've settled on my plant list, although I still need to find sources for them. (I'm hoping they'll pop up for sale on the forums here but I guess we'll see.) Here's the list:
foreground (low & bushing in the drawing): crypt. parva
mid-ground: mixed crypts (mostly wendtii)
on rocks and driftwood: low- anubias nana and coffeefolia/ high- moss (variety will depend on availability) and microsorum pteropus trident (needle leaf java)
background: crypt. spiralis and/or balanese
I've got some of this in the tank already and I'll plan to use what I have and add the other varieties as I can track them down.
I'm still undecided about fauna. The last fish I had in the tank were an eclectic mix that lived for years, I hadn't added any inhabitants since 2009 and the last fish, an 11 year-old oto, died about a year ago.
I'd like to have a very limited number of species so that I can maximize group size. My first idea was to have CRS and flame tetras. But I loved my otos, and I adored the cories and botia sidmunki that I had in the past so a group of one of them is very tempting . . . BUT I've become such a big fan of keeping the bioload light that I think I really will stick with the original plan. Can you tell I'm pretty undecided??? Ha! I'll figure it out in time I suppose
I have an Eheim heater that I'll continue to use.
Currently the tank has 2 Aquaclear HOBs, on 50 and 1 20 (the smaller one was once on my old shrimp tank.) I plan to purchase a canister filter sometime down the line (the other half doesn't like the sound of running water - who doesn't like peaceful white noise I ask you?!?) But I digress
I have a 20lb CO2 tank and basic GLA regulator, with a few cheap ceramic diffusers that I rotate in and out.
I have 2 30" coralife T-5 fixtures, (only using one right now) with a mix of 6700K and 10,000K bulbs.
Did I leave anything out? Am I planning something silly? I'd love to hear you thoughts and suggestions, I've missed this online community!