I'm in the process of starting my first planted tank and wanted to go ahead and set up a journal to document the process along the way! I'm sure there will be tons of trial and error, calamities, proud moments and times I'm left just scratching my head. Hopefully, somewhere along the way I'll have learned enough to develop at least a halfway decent looking tank!
So to start things off, I decided to go with a Fluval Spec V all in one tank. I went this route because eventually I'd like the option of running this tank in my office and wanted a minimal amount of visible equipment.
In my research and just general browsing of this site and others I've been most drawn to a "natural" style tank so I am hoping to steer my tank in that direction.
The tank will start off low-tech, possibly medium light and may transition to high tech down the road depending on how things go and how I feel about the maintenance schedule.
So on to the good stuff that you all care about! (I took advantage of lots of memorial sales)
-Tank: Fluval Spec V
-Light: Finnex 20" Planted+ 24/7 SE
-Heater: Hydor Theo 50W
-Pump: Aqueon Quietflow AQ600 (memorial day sale brought the price of this pump and the tank lower than the price I could get just the tank anywhere else)
-Co2: May happen in the future (paintball tank system from Co2 art with inline diffuser)
-Substrate: Flourite Black Sand
-Wood: Hopefully Manzanita Wood
Fauna (Big TBD
Here so very open to suggestions, some combination of the following):
-Centerpiece Fish 1-2 (Thinking Betta or maybe Dwarf Gourami)
-Schooling Fish ~6 (Thinking CPD's or maybe Chilli Rasboras)
-Bottom Dweller (Not sure if I can fit anything else given the above but possibly pygmy cory)
-Amano Shrimp: 2
-Cherry Red Shrimp: 6
-Nerite Snaile: 1
-Honestly no idea at this point need to figure out my hardscape and go from there
-Will be heavily planted to support the stocking above
-I purchased some basic Seachem fertilizers to get things started but will transition to an E.I. based regime with chemicals from either GLA or NILOCG
I like the look of manzanita wood supported/surrounded by Seiryu stone. This would be near the back corner of the tank obscuring the filter wall. Long stem flants/ferns would be extending up around the back of the wood feature, with plants getting smaller as you progress to the front of the tank until reaching a hopeful carpet at the front. I would love for moss to coat some of the branches as well. This scape may be ambitious without Co2 so we shall see how things change over time. As far as fish go, I'm planning to get my tank and plants established then slowly introduce fish/inverts starting at the bottom and working up. Hopefully this will result in a centerpiece fish who wont mess with the smaller livestock in the tank.
Anyway I look forward to hearing your feedback on my plan and eventually my tank itself!
Full Tank Shot:
(future home for pics, still waiting on the equipment to get here)