A week ago I had to give up my dog. Here's where his crate used to be.
It was one of the worst moments of my life and it looks like things are going well in his new home, but after a week of sobbing into my ice cream and shirking email in order to play Minecraft, I decided I needed to do something or I would end up with nineteen cats or a ferret or some other series of bad decisions. I've been wanting to get back into planted tanks for a while. I've gone completely bonkers with houseplants and I wanted to see how hot the house got in the summer (with only some window units for AC) before starting up a tank. Saturday came around and after crying into my cereal again, there was no stopping me.
Went to three LFS to figure out what I can get locally vs. shipped and you know how that goes:
It's a 20L. Spent a ton of time here researching substrate because apparently my local water supply is subject to ammonia and nitrite spikes bad enough to keep people's tanks from cycling. One shop owner told me that some of his customers from my town go and get water from friends in neighboring towns. Yeesh. I tested the tap water and there was .25ppm nitrite, but ammonia zero and nitrates zero. I figured that was good reason to suck it up and buy the Eco Complete because at least the higher CEC compared to PFS or BDBS will do some shock absorbing? Not sure that's how it works, but at least there's a bag full of bacteria to get this party started.
Anyway I got clip-on LED lights specifically because I've been imagining a wild-top setup... I've been thinking "emersed" but technically I don't think that's the right word. It's going to be a full tank, just letting plants grow out the top. I also liked the open top idea as a way of humidifying the house a bit in the winter, though that means more water changes to keep the mineral buildup in check. Then I read the lights are supposed to be used with a cover, oops. Not sure how big a deal that is. I also found these beautiful rocks:
So... this suggests more of an iwagumi-inspired creation, and maybe the 10g I'll do as a Walstad/dirt tank/growout tank.
I'm going to play with the rocks some more and investigate my plant-acquiring options. I'm going to let the thing grow a bit and cycle and see where my water parameters go, and make fish choices based on what the water suggests.
It's a start.
I still miss my dog.