Have lurked around TPT for greater than a decade.
Until recently life have not been stable enough to set up my own tank. I turned 30 recently and realised life is becoming less hectic, so I've taken the plunge and started setting up a Asian-biotype inspired tank. This journal will chronicle its development.
AquaNano40 all-in-one cube (40d x 40w x 40h, 55L/14.5Gal)Substrate:
- Standard 10w LED light + part sunlight
- Standard 500L\hr pump
- Standard 55w heater
- Filter medium: Double sponge, filter floss, and 1L of ceramic noodles
- Bottom = 5mm Greywacke gravel
- Mid = JBL Aquabasis
- Top = Seachem fluorite dark & black 50:50
- Features = Slate rock
- Aponogeton Undulata
- Cryptocoryne Wenditii
- Cryptocoryne Blassi
- Hygrophila corymbosa 'siamensis'
- Hygrophila corymbosa 'siamensis Narrow Leaf' (not yet planted)
- Hygrophila salcifolia 'blue'
- Lilaeopsis Novae-Zelandiae
- Limnophila sessiliflora 'dwarf ambulia' (not yet planted)
- Rotala Macrandra 'red'
I've got a reputable breeder holding onto a nice turquoise and black Halfmoon Betta. I plan to introduce him to the tank in about a week or so time. If tank hasn't properly cycled by that point I'll use Prime every 24hrs to protect the fish from any toxicity. Current state:
Tank was filled a week ago. I am using Seachem Prime to condition my water. I've added Seachem stability too, and use Clarity after messing with the substrate.
Ammonia ~0-0.25ppm, Nitrite = 0ppm, Nitrate = 10ppm, pH 7.6-7.8
I haven't seen Ammonia go above 0.5ppm, so I've started adding a pinch crushed bloodworms daily. I'll stop this once I see ammonia rise and nitrites show up. I am waiting for a gh/kh test to arrive, so I am not sure what is happening there but I do know my water is relatively hard.
(Have moved a few plants about since this photo, in particular the Crypt. in the mid center. Will post a new photo after the next round of planting and a bit of photography practice)
For ease, I am going with the full seachem lineup and will follow the EI routine. 50% weekly water changes are not sustainable for me in the long term, so I'll look at modifying this. I'd also like to move towards dry ferts in the long run.
I'll be using Excel until I buy a CO2 setup in the next few weeks. At this point I am looking at getting a single-stage paintball setup from CO2 supermarket. The parts specifically being:
If you want to talk me out of buying this kit, then please go ahead. However,
- Attractive, this will be part of the display
- CHEAP but with good reviews
- Only have to pay for international shipping once
- Paintball setup is small, so can sit on my desk
- Single stage regulator risks end-of-tank dump, however my understanding is this risk can be effectively managed by regularly observing the working pressure of the tank.
- Regulator may not be suitable for such a small tank? It says it does down to 3bar/45psi, which is the pressure that would be needed to run the bazooka...
- Solenoid potentially hums
The current lighting is weak, but I allowing the tank to receive a decent amount of sunlight for now. Once the CO2 is sorted, I'll DIY an led set up. This setup will likely be similar to the Chiros (spelling?) or the Twinstar 450ea. Main thing I want is to be able to automate the lighting to give specific cycles i.e. sunrise viewing (high CRI), day (high par), sunset viewing (high CRI), moonlight, as well as being able to tune the spectrum. This will be quite a large and expensive project. I've built led units before, as well as worked with automation.
I'll be adding plants as I go. I'd like to get a wider range of crypts and red plants. I'll likely also try to add an area to grow plants in an emmersed state. I am also hoping to work with the breeder to introduce a few females to the tank once it is better established. He will allow me to select females which have been co-habiting successfully and return them if it won't work out. This tank is too big for a single betta, but too small for a large sorority or school of raspbora.