This is a journal for my first ever planted tank. I've been keeping fish for about 10 years but I've been itching to try a "high tech" tank.
Disclaimer: I'm doing this mostly to track my own progress, keep myself accountable for updates, and to get feedback from the community. I'm probably making a ton of mistakes and PLEASE let me know if you spot any red flags. Thanks
Bought all of them from AquariumPlants.com, and they arrived in wonderful condition (except for Rotala Macrandra - got crushed and is looking sorry). Used UPS Next Day Air. After three days I have yet to see a single snail so here's to hoping I lucked out.
And just so you know exactly what plants I have and where they're located:
1: Lloydiella golden (Lysimachia nummularia var. 'Aurea')
2: Java fern
3: Water wisteria
4: Anubias barteri var. nana 'narrow leaf'
5: Riccia fluitans (tied to terra cotta pot bottoms)
6: Ludwigia peruensis
7. Cabomba carolina (green)
8: Echinodorus parviflorus 'tropica'
9: Rotala macrandra
10: Bacopa australis
I'm trying to go slow with the ferts - I'd prefer to avoid an algae bloom (hence the short photoperiod). So far, I have dosed:
One dose of Seachem Flourish Comprehensive
Half dose of Seachem Trace
20ppm of K (via dry K2SO4)
I know I'll probably have to add iron for the reds, so that'll be my next addition.
Both run for 6 hours a day, with the CO2 starting one hour before the lights turn on.
~3-4 bubbles per second
Organic potting soil (1.5")
Standard play sand (1.5")
Tank has been cycling (fishless) for about a month. I do a 30% WC when the nitrates get past 20ppm. I know the nitrites are high, but I'm hoping to build up that bacterial colony some more.
pH: 6.6 (with CO2). Have not checked pH without CO2 because I'm usually asleep/at work.
Finnex Fugeray Planted+ (30")
EDIT: Added an additional Finnex Ray2 (30")
Marineland Magniflow C160 Cannister (has carbon, probably changing that soon)
Hydor Koralia Nano 240
Sera Flore Active 500 (connected to filter outlet hose)
Milwaukee CO2 Regulator (MA957)
with solenoid, needle valve, and bubble checker attached
I am aware this regulator is very cheap, but it's a temporary solution until I can get a nice dual stage regulator.
None of these plants are in their final places. I threw them into the tank without any plan in mind, all while realizing I ordered too many stems/species to fit in my tank.
Day 3 of lights and CO2, and the plants have improved a lot since I put them in. They're straightening out, heading toward the light, and I can see the tiny beginnings of new growth. No snails in sight (knock on wood). I have noticed that the plants aren't pearling, even at the end of the photoperiod. Am I doing something wrong? The drop checker is usually lime green so it can't be a CO2 problem, can it? The new growths are all very strong and very green.
I'm sort of regretting the driftwood, which has a slate glued to the bottom and prevents me from planting too closely to that. And I can't take it out or it's going to muck up my tank to no end.
In about a month I plan to add one (yes one) angelfish to be my moving centerpiece, along with maybe 5-6 otos and Amano shrimp if I can find them anywhere.
Open to helpful tips, suggestions, etc. Pretend like I'm a baby. Thanks for reading!