Brief back story. Last November my 75g reef tank lost a seam. Woke up to a wet floor. Lucky a small leak. Couldn't afford a new drilled tank at the time, so called in sick, broke the tank down and took all the livestock back for store credit. Decided after 15 years in the salt world, it was time to change it up. I got enough in store credit to start a planted tank. The new tank has been sitting since then due to a remodel.
The tank is An Innovative Marine Nuvu fusion 40. 24x16x19h display area. Designed as a reef tank, but figured I would make it work as a planted tank. It has built in filter section in the back, with dual overflows, filter socks, 2 media chambers, and a return pump chamber. I added a ball valve to the return so I can adjust flow down. Used ceramic bio balls in both chambers, with room still if there is anything else I want to add. Heater and pump in center section.
I like the natural approach idea of dirted tanks. So I did about 1" Organic choice potting mix, Capped with 1" fine sand, plus local gravel and sand that I sorted by size, to match my rocks. Driftwood is apple that I cut from my tree, a branch thats been dead on the tree at least 6 years.
Lighting is 2 clamp on desk lamps with 18w(100w equivelant) Screw in LED 5000k daylight bulbs. I think these put me in the medium light area, but not 100% sure. In the future I may salvage the drivers from my DIY reef tank light and build another fixture.
Im planing to stay low tech for the time being, hopefully no CO2. But that may change. High tech doesn't scare me. I even have an unused 4 pump auto doser that never got set up on my reef tank. But for now, Im hoping to keep it more simple.
Starting plants are a Redish Crypt Wendtii, Another unknown crypt, both divided into about 6 plantlets. 4 varieties on Anubias midground, Several stalks Java Fern, and Several Stalks water milfoil background, And Christmas moss on the driftwood. Im still thinking of adding some wisteria and maybe some Glosso for kind of a carpet or low foreground plant.
I love shrimp, so I plan to have lots, snails, and still deciding on small shrimp safe fish.
I'll be doing water changes every few days as things leech out of the wood and soil. Once im sure everything is stable, I'll start adding livestock.
A couple questions.( with im sure many more to follow). Any idea where my light level falls currently? Low light? mid light? Ive used these same bulbs to grow Chaeto and Caulerpa Macro algaes with great results in my reef tank refugium. How much flow? Right now the plants very gently sway in the current.
And open to any advice and Comments. Thanks for reading my looong post!