for my paradise fish! Initial setup:
It has safe-t-sorb (fired montmorillonite clay) mixed with some fine gravel for substrate. I'm considering adding leaf litter. Same corner box filter that was on Perry's old tank
. Upped the air pump, right now the flow valve is all the way open trying to clear out fine particles in the water, but later I will probably reduce flow to make it comfortable for the paradise fish. That's it for equipment. No heater, no lights. Back wall of the tank has four layers of semi-translucent plastic taped across, to diffuse the window light.
Already I am loving this tank, and can't wait to put the fish in, see how he reacts to his new home (and, hopefully, to his new companion- I'm getting a female on sunday!) But of course, it has to cycle first. Very murky the day of planting:
It's really hard to get a good photo of. My camera can't adjust to sunlight the way my eyes do. Looks awesome in person. In the photo- meh.
Not much better with a backdrop- reflections.
Have to wait for after dark and throw a lamp on it. I need practice.
Anyhow, you can see the two featured plants are my crypt cordata-
and the aponogeton capuronii (pictured in the haze)-
Not too original, I used similar arrangement as the prior 20H, planting vallisneria on both short ends of the tank. On the filter end there's also crypt undulata, and on the other side a few crypt lutea mixed in.
I planted most of my ludwigia repens var
arcuata in the background, but kept a few stems in reserve in the 20H (heated).
I also have in here java fern windelov, bolbitis fern, anubias nana 'petite', crypt becketti petchii, several small buces, and hornwort floaters. Oh, and there's more plants to add, still in the bin with Perry- several bolbitis, more windelov fern, subwassertang,
and of course, all the sweet potato and pothos (roots).
Um, I realize I may have made a mistake... . . . I rinsed the old substrate and put it back in the tank. It was very dirty. Black and sludgy at the bottom. I rinsed not until the water ran clear, but just lighter brown, because I didn't want to loose all the good stuff... but now I realize (after the fact!) that the sludge was probably from the safe-t-sorb breaking down- and I bet it will keep doing that. I knew it would happen, but I still like it so am probably going to get a new bag of it, spend a few weeks prepping, and then replace the substrate a fourth of the tank at a time. I'm not sure if having the older substrate in there harms
anything? except there's fine mulm all over the plants leaves, and I already rinsed out the filter media once yesterday- even though I didn't want to stall the cycle- the media was clogged with fine silt. If that's the worst, guess I can just clean the filter out a lot more frequently, until I get new substrate in.