150 Gallon Re-Scape Overhaul
Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,
I haven't posted in quite some time. But, the time has come for me to totally overhaul my 150 gallon tank and I would like input along the way. Just to be clear, this is going to be more of a journal. Being in grad school simply doesn't permit me the budget or the time to do it all at once. Also, I'm not the most tech-savvy so I may struggle keeping up with any photographs. Anyway, lets start with current set up:
150 gallon tank, standard size. (6' long, etc.)
Fluval FX6 Filter with filter pads, Purigen, etc.
72" EVO Green Element 6500K LED, hanging from ceiling about 18" above the tank. 96 LEDs, each 3w. About 15 of the lights have failed, which is part of the reasoning I'm overhauling. I knew that I was buying a lower end light 2 years ago when I purchased it, but the time has come to upgrade. I notice more failed lights every week it seems.
20lb CO2 tank with diffuser placed underneath FX6 intake- so far no issues with that, but I'm planning on using an in-line of some sort.
2-3" layer of Eco-Complete Substrate
Driftwood and various crypts, amazon swords, dwarf sag, rotala
Discus, Cardinal Tetras, Rummynose Tetras, High Fin Spotted Plecostomus, Sidthumunki Loaches, Skunk Cory Cats
Ok, so the general plan is to go big or go home with the lights: I'm planning on purchasing 3 Kessil A360WE Tuna Sun lights with A-Series arms this week. Then I'll allow some time for my bank account to recover.
Planning on putting in a reactor for CO2 that fits the 1" FX6 tubing. I've got one in mind from searching the forums but if anyone has any suggestions, let me know. I'd like to avoid building anything on my own (I'm working on being a nurse practitioner, not an engineer), but if it's simple I'll at least consider it.
I want to scoop out all of the substrate and replace it with 3-4 bags of Amazonia, and cap it with pool filter sand. Of course, I would allow enough time for the ammonia and such to cycle from the Amazonia.
I want my hardscape to essentially be a giant piece of driftwood that spans most of the tank. I've got a general idea of what I want but I'm in Texas, where nice driftwood is either hard to find or expensive. So I'll know it when I see it.
For plants, I'm thinking a few Swords first. I've got a few flame swords already so we'll see if they make the cut. Otherwise, I'd like to glue some Java Fern to the driftwood, and then place Cabomba at the end of the tank with my hardware to crowd in and cover a lot of it. My inspiration here is actually the Boa tank at the Dallas World Aquarium. Sand bottom, cabomba, and swords everywhere with hundreds of rummy nose and cardinal tetras, not to mention the giant snake.
Once the tank has cycled I'll add a few dozen amano shrimp and maybe 50 Cardinals? This is really the least of my worries. I've also got a Pigeon Blood Pair I grew out from DiscusUSA that I'm thinking I'll put in as the showcase fish. I know I know, they may eat my shrimp. We'll see.
All I've got for now is this plan. Planning on ordering lights later on this week. So, thanks for the input in advance let the games begin!