First off, I wanted to say thanks for the advice I've gotten on this forum directly, but also the many many posts I've read to get up to speed. To try and "give back" this is my planted tank journal. For background I've kept fish in a pretty poor first attempt at a planted tank for a year or so. I wont post pictures, but it was half decent. This is my first real attempt at a planted tank. The equipment list is below and I have a setup video as well. Happy to answer any question.
- ADA 90P Tank
- Fluval Fresh& Plant 2.0 Light
- Fluval 406 Filter
- Milwaukee 957 CO2 Regulator
- VIV Lily 17mm inflow and outflow
- VIV 40mm CO2 diffuser (on the way)
- ADA Amazonia Powder Soil
- ADA Power Sand
- ADA Tourmaline BC, Bacter, Super Clean
- Tropica Aquarium Soil
- Custom stand from Sublime Finishing in Calgary
- Tropica 1-2 Grow Eleocharis aciularis Mini
- Tropica 1-2 Grow Hydrocotyle tripartite Japan
- Tropica 1-2 Grow Vesicularia dudyana Christmas
- Penn plax grey stone from Petland
- Several Otos, 1 GBR, ~30 Espei Rasboras (that I hate for some reason)
Things I learned
- The process takes way long than I expected. From coming up with the idea to filling with water. Itll be about 3 months. I had to order the Lily pipes from Aliexpress, that alone took a month.
- The tank is not the most expensive part. For me the custom stand was the biggest single ticket.
- When I start I had an idea on how to make water changes easier but the filter couldnít handle pushing water through all that pipe, so I simplified and bought a Python water changer, which Im very happy with
- Consider the source on any piece of advice. About half will be unhelpful/wrong. I mostly talked with Pisces Pet Emporium and Shawnessy Petland (both in Calgary).
o Ron at Pisces knows almost anything and has a very pragmatic approach. I have a discus in my current tank and was using RO water for that (Calgary has hard water, like 12 dKH) and he explained that Calgaryís water is actually very good and has low Chlorine, so Iím now just doing that.
o The staff at the Petland Shawnessy are shockingly knowledgeable given itís a big box retailer. I talked mostly with Kelsey and Aaron there and they were just as good as Ron at Pisces, which would be expert level IMO.
- Continually test water hardness. I know the rocks I have react slightly to vinegar and strongly to muriac acid. I donít think this is a big deal in planted tanks where the fish I am keeping are not meant for breeding. Maybe if I want to keep shrimps it may be an issue.
- Keep an eye on my regulator. From an equipment standpoint, itís the weak link. If it causes problems Iím simply going to upgrade to a GLA Pro series.
- Get rid of the Espei rasboras and add Rummynose Tetras
Here's my setup video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4y2me9eE3o
Pics below are ordered like this:
- Today up close
- Today with Stand
- Right after planting
Bump: Couple more of the inside of my beautiful stand