This is my first shot at keeping an aquarium, so please give any feed back possible would be fantastic! I went into this build completely blind, and have been flying a bit blind, and adjusting for all the turbulence i've hit along the way. I made all of the "rookie" mistakes that one would find in all of the threads posted around the web, but i am happy to still be fighting and learning. Tank has been up and running for about 5 months.
Tank- 65 Gallon tall. Last year my neighbor left out an old leaking 63 gallon hex that needed resealing, so i refinished it, and got it up and running, but i had an outer seam pop out, so i elected to trash it, and start fresh. Local big box store had a great deal on the 65 deep, so i impulse bought it. In retrospect, i wish i would have elected to go with a shallow for the purposes of a planted tank, but this wasn't my original plan. My local family owned FS has an amazing jungle styled tank that i fell in love with, and it was going to be my model to work off of.
Equipment- On the recommendation of the store, i picked up a pair of AC70's, but in retrospect, should have just initially went canister to eliminate co2 gas off. The tank is lit with a Finnex planted plus, with a second one being my next purchase(Perhaps a ray2). DIY c02(citric acid) has been used up until this point, but i now have all the components for a pressurized setup minus a bottle.
Stock- Blushing angles, Black stripe Tetras, Honey Gouramis, Precox rainbows, pair of German rams, assorted Coreys, pair of Otos, and a SAE. Everyone has been doing great together, and have only lost one rainbow due to a kidney issue since its been cycled. There are also a handful of snails that i picked up as hitchhikers, and are rapidly breeding out of control. I added a colony of assassins to the tanks to help fight the infestation.
Plants- I quickly realized with my hardscape i had planned, that floor space was going to be limited, and that i had a lot of vertical space to be filled to try and make it look right. Again, 65 tall was not the best choice, but im making due. Italian Val was the one thing i REALLY wanted to key in on as by background and to grow tall to balance the tank out. After it initially melted to nothing, its really taken off, and im finally to the point of where i "like" it. As for the rest of the flora is made up of bacopa, L repens, crypt bal, java moss for my tree, Christmas rock anchored to my wood and rocks, an anubias, rotala indica, and a few others i cant remember the names of. I have some more plants showing up today to play with and experiment. Its been a learning process as noted above, but im enjoying learning about all of the biology and chemistry of the fertilizers. As far the the ferts are concerned, im currently running a macro mix, and also dose flourish comp. I know these are not ideal, and im not getting all i can out of my nutrients, and will be going PPS as soon as my dry ferts get here.
Thank you to all of yall for the posts for reading material, and helping me learn how things go. This setup is by no means as impressive as some of the amazing scapes on here, but its my first tank, in what i see being my new favorite hobby. Again, please drop any helpful ideas below, as im all ears, and very eager to do what i can to make this tank pop.
Day one of my plant and fill (1/17)
As of yesterday(5/18)
Link to my imgur progression for more pics
Aquarium progression - Album on Imgur