High Tech Spec V: Cave and Peak
So after my first low tech Fluval Flex I decided to try out a high tech tank. I found a Spec V for $50 so used that to start.
Tank: Spec V (new version). Modified by sealing the two extra drainage slots on the bottom and middle section with silicone as described in many other posts. Also drilled 7 small holes in the pump outflow pipe to allow water mixing in the back compartment where there heater is placed.
Light: Finnex Planted + 24/7 SE
Heater: Hydor Theo 50W
CO2 System: CO2Art Pro-Elite Series regulator with integrated drop checker and check valve. 5lb tank and 60mm Bazooka atomizer. I placed the atomizer diffuser in the back compartment under the filter sponge. Also added a Aquatek Premium brass check valve higher up in the CO2 tubing to prevent water backflow all the way to the integrated bubble counter and check valve as a bit of an added safety measure.
Drop Checker: Nilocog
Filtration: black sponge with two bags of fluval biomedia (one taken from my established tank to start the cycle). Will add puregin as well once tank is a bit more established.
Dosing: Nilocog thrive and excel (higher dose for algaecide purpose not for CO2)
ADA aquasoil powder with some lava rock underneath to build up slopes
Ohko/ dragon stone
Micros sword as background plant
As of now just one zebra nerite snail that is testing the waters....
Plan for espei rasboras vs ember tetras. Any other suggestions????
The bumpy road...
I set things up back in August and did a dry start with the micro sword and HC. Overall the HC did not do well. I think I made a rookie mistake and tried to plant it in to big of chunks and it never really did much over 8weeks. I added some more and removed the parts that melted and finally decided to flood the tank 3 weeks ago after I got my long awaited CO2 setup.
After the flood I realized that what was left of the HC wasn't really all that healthy and I got an almost instant outbreak of blue-green algae that I treated very successfully with H2O2 and removed the worst looking chunks of HC. I ended up getting a new supply of HC and basically replanted all of it with tiny individual stems and that seems to have worked much better then my attempt at a dry start. I have been blasting CO2 (drop checker yellow) and am doing 6-7hrs of max light and the plants are growing well and pearling. I just dropped the CO2 down to medium levels and added the nerite snail now that the water has cycled to help with some green hair algae that has started to creep up as well (also treated this with local H2O2 which works really well).
My HC seems to be growing more vertically as apposed to horizontally. Do I need to trim it to stimulate horizontal growth?
Thanks for looking and suggestions appreciated!