So Iíve had this aquarium setup for about two years as a low tech setup and I just got done planting it as a high tech dirted.
The tank is a low iron Aqua Japan.
Lighting is a 20Ē Finnex Stingray and a 30Ē Finnex Planted+ (a left over from my older 20 long). If memory serves the Stingray provides about 35-40 par and the Planted+ about 60 par at these distances.
Filtration is a Aquaclear 50 and a Eheim surface skimmer.
Co2 is provided by ceramic diffuser hooked up to a Aquatech co2 regulator mini. Iíve had the regulator for about 4 years and itís great. Annoying how the adjustments work. Micro adjustments or else youíve just added or reduced 10 bps. But no end of tank dumps and it holds the setting well.
The tank is dirted. I started with some nobrand organic potting soil and sifted it. And sifted. And sifted some more. One large bag turned into 1/3 of the bag usable after sifting. I thought that was pretty crazy but whatevs. I then mineralized it for about a month by laying it out on a tarp and getting it completely saturated with tap water and spread it out thin for it to dry as quickly as possible. Took 2-3 days each time to dry it out and then mix it and repeat. Did it about ten times total. The dirt went from brown soft smelly to grey sandy with pretty much no smell at all and thatís when I added it to the tank. I got the dirt nice and thick soupy like oatmeal and added it to the tank and capped it with some generic black sand. I then floated some hygrofila difformis to suck up excess nutrients for about the last three weeks and did large water changes twice a week until there were no more tannins.
Then I planted. I started with eleocharis parvula in the front of the tank on December 20th and then thanks to a killer raok on December 27th I planted:
Crypt Lutea (I think)
Alternanthera Reineckii Mini
And I planted the new growth from the Hygrofila Difformis.
Iím dosing with essentially ei levels but Iíll fill out a spreadsheet soon and add it.
This is on January 2nd
A little new growth on limnophila Aromatica
Some new growth on the hairgrass and a pic of my three year old otocinclus (give or take)
Everything else is showing new growth and hydrocotile is pearling nicely
And here is from todayís water change. Gave the hairgrass its first haircut and trimmed some of the L.A. and replanted.
Iím calling it a future shrimp tank because right now Iím trying to get things nicely growing and once it is to see what the water parameters will be for which type of shrimp. So far after ei dosing and feeding the existing fish four times a week Iím seeing a tds increase of 65-70 followed by a 70% water change weekly. Iím figuring if I can start the week around 80-100 I could start breeding some nice Taiwan Bees which is what I really want. We shall see as things fill in more and nutrients are dialed in more.