Long overdue update
Oh man, I apologize for not updating this in over six months. It's been a slow crawl, sometimes literally. I'm finally over my back injury and I've completed this semester, so I'm finally able to come up for air. First, I'll answer all of the questions from several months ago.
1. I won't be putting a cover on it. With all of the surface area, it would likely have to be custom made, and I do enjoy the option of having driftwood, etc. break the surface. However, I reserve the right to change my mind if I have a lot of problems with evaporation, temperature control, or the livestock jumping to their demise.
2. I'm not planning on using anything more exotic than java fern, cryptocorynes, and potentially moss in this tank so I can keep it low tech. I have a current usa light over the tank using one of their brackets, so its 6-8 inches above the water's surface. Its set to a low setting so I don't expect any huge algae issues. We'll see.
3. The stand is built. I'm 6'2" and so with the back injury I want to avoid having to bend too far over the tank to work in it or be bending over a lot just to look through the front pane. It's approximately 43" high. I like how it turned out.
Pictures are going to follow shortly, but in the mean time, if there's anyone who has any input on the above I'd be happy to discuss.
Also, here's the specs currently:
1. I've built the rock fence on the bare bottom. You can see that in the pics that are forthcoming. It's mainly slate from nature and a few craft stores that I've cobbled together. I'm planning on fluval stratum and I'll be planting crypts, etc. within those fences. Considering cholla wood and subwassertang elsewhere in the tank.
2. I'm filtering with an Eheim 2217 with an extended spray bar (keeps the current subdued), running with a Hydor inline heater. The heater is set to 72 which keeps the tank at about 70. Shouldn't be a problem since I'm planning on ultimately keeping caridina varieties. In the summer I may be able to just turn the heater off. I'm contemplating adding some additional sponge filtration, just because I prefer the bubbling noise to the spray noise I would get from placing the spray bar above water level- but then I have to balance that with additional evaporation. Thoughts?
3. I've already mentioned the lighting and bracket. What you see is what you get. This is a shrimp tank with plants, not a planted tank with shrimp, so no CO2.
4. Currently, the tank has Garland, TX tap water in it with feeder shrimp and guppies for my 4" kelberi peacock I have in my 150. It's actually been up and running for several months now, so that the rocks and walls can develop biofilm, etc. No issues with algae thus far. I've been stockpiling RO H2O and fluval stratum to prepare to convert over. I'll move the feeders to a yet to be determined location.
Any who, apologies again for the post neglect. Hopefully I can be more diligent from here on, especially since we are nearing the more exciting aspects of livestock, etc. Cheers!