Time to start a new journal! I won't use the term biotope whilst talking about this tank because it will end up on the very loose end of the spectrum. I'm not all that concerned about whether each critter can both be found in a specific stream, and the tank will be planted, albeit lightly.
Currently the tank and all equipment are set up and running while I wait for a hardscape order to arrive.
Hardware lists are fun right? I wanted to try out some equipment I've never used before, so most of this list is new and exciting for me.
Light- Fluval Fresh & Plant 2.0
Tank- Seapora 40b
Filter- Hydor Professional 350
Heater- Aqueon Pro 150w
Stand- Marineland Newport
I actually liked the light enough to replace the faulty current plus pro on a different tank. The seapora tank is the only 40b I could find that actually uses a center brace. The glass is still plenty thick. I was really excited about the filter when I set it up, it's super quiet and has a great look to it. The flow rate is pretty high and the spraybar is nearly as long as the tank, which I think is great. I may need to enlarge the holes in the spraybar to lower the strength of flow a little.
The floor is pool filter sand, hardscape will consist of manzanita branches and river rock.
I'm planning on keeping it simple with plants, using vallisneria, floaters, and an amazon sword. Will be using seachem root tabs, but that's all.
The really fun part will be the "aquatic botanicals" I just got from Tannin Aquatics. These include catappa leaves and various seed pods, some of which will make perfect caves and hiding places.
The only fish I'm certain will go into the tank at the moment are a pair or trio of apistogramma agassizii. Open to suggestions for smaller dhither/schooling fishes. May just go with cardinals because of their flashiness against tinted water.
For now, here's a couple pictures of my order from Tannin Aquatics. This guy takes packaging seriously and it's amazing. He even through in a freebie pack of seed pods and a little vynil decal.
I've also attached a picture of our handsome little man, Oak, to distract you all of the lack of aquarium pictures.