I finally got around to rescaping my tank last weekend. Here's the old thread for the curious: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...aka-320-a.html
- replaced large-grain Flora Max with Eco-Complete.
- I have ADA AS in a nano and find it to be a pain to work with. Eco-Complete on the other hand has been very easy. Plants actually stay rooted. So eco it was.
- move to an easier to maintain layout
- add hardscape...manzanita this time
Past upgrades that will remain:
- Aquaticlife 4x54w fixture with moon LEDs.
- I only run 2 bulbs at a time and use the switch to vary spread and direction of light source as well as use two combinations o bulbs - midday for morning and flora for a more subdued look in the evening.
- I swapped out an Ehein Pro 3 2076 (great filter) for a Fluval G6 to make maint even easier. I've decided that good flow and a clean system is as much a function of keeping a filter in top condition than any other gadget or technique and the ease of cleaning the Gs is a great aid to doing so.
- swapping a substrate is a MAJOR pain. A job I hope to repeat very infrequently.
- attach wood to slate or something no matter how sure you are it won't float. Not worth the nuisance if it does, so be safe.
The process took me two days due to schedule. Could have been done it in a day if I had more contiguos time.
I used these baking pans and covers to store plants over night. Made organizing them easy and replanting very simple:
I stored the fish in some 5g buckets. All survived overnight except for the Rummynose. Nearly all didn't make it. I assume temperature was the culprit and wish I'd added a heater. This was the biggest error in the process.
It's impossible to remove fish until the tank is empty of obstructions. Like finding noodles in soup, got easier as water was drained. For me that is, not for the fish.
So, old substrate out (did I mention what a mess and pain that was), eco-complete in, Manzanita bought from mr. Barr in its place (BarrZanita?):
I've yet to master getting a good picture of a tank, but here are a few views:
Night view. LEDs are on until midnight, then all lights out. I really don't know, but it seemed the fish were more active, less restful with the LEDs on. Decided that may not be the best for their health and since I'm asleep by then....lights out.
There are some more plants coming and I will wait to add fish for a while, so more pics to come as it matures. There is a lot of red/bronze in the tank. I like plants in those colors, but at the moment there isn't enough of a green background to set them off. The Blyxa is a little yellow, which may be from shipment still. We'll see as things grow out. There are sure to be some minor adjustments.
I have to say that eco-complete is very easy to work with. Stick a plant in and is stays. It is loaded with root tabs. It may not be AS, but I'm very satisfied with it.
I may go back to the stock fixture since I don't need the light output of the Aquaticlife. The superior reflectors to the OEM Hagen Glo produces more light. If I get my hands on a PAR meter I'll verify that and document result for those interested. Impression though is that it is MUCH brighter. I'll also continue CO2. I don't care about growth rate, but do care about appearance and robustness. I see no downside to continuing CO2, expense is minimal since the H/W investment was made, so that stays.
Things never work out to quite what I envision, but I am very happy with the look of the new substrate over the old flora-max, the BarrZanita looks good and I'm looking forward to the layout maturing ad adding a new feature fish. I'vealways like Bosemani rainbows, but haven't decided if they are a little big for a 48" tank. Plenty room for them to live and do well, just not sure of the scale for appearances sake. Should be fine, but I haven; decided.
Thanks to all that I bought plants from and to Tom for trekking into the hills for manzanita. Thanks for looking. Comments and critiques always welcome.
Thanks for looking. More to come.