With the plants arriving in the next couple of days I thought it time to post the specs and pictures of the set up process.
Full disclosure: I wanted to try a mix of substrate materials for growing plants on my porch this season so I called up my friend at Brightwell and he ended up sending waaaay more than I needed so I used what I got sent. It's not sponsored by any company and I'm not endorsing any of the brands here, but folks do like to know what others are using (and tend to skim over that part in initial set up posts) so I figured I'd include pictures rather than having to restate things down the line.
A big reason for using this stuff rather than finding other sources is to get all the tanks I plan on keeping in the future put together so I know what's left over and can get rid of. It's time for another purge of the storage closet.
Cobalt Aquatics C-Vue All-in-One. It's an old 18 gallon prototype I grabbed when cleaning out the storage room which would eventually become my office. Production models start at 15 gallons. Actual living volume in this tank is approx. 8 gallons. After draining to plant I found out the volume is closer to 6 gallons of actual water in the living space.
Two filter socks; one housing biomedia and the other to eventually house the organic adsorbing resin (part of a product line I developed, woo!)
Two 7 watt, 8000K CRI, Aquael LEDDY Smart plant lights. They're the old diode bar model rather than the current square arrangement that both Cobalt and Aquael sell. I've used them on a few tanks and like the light they provide, but the clip mechanism that hold it onto the (rimless only) tank is fairly weak.
25 watt Neo-Therm
Microbacter Lattice (small particle approx. 3mm-15mm) base with DeltaGH+ GH booster, Osmocote Plus, and FlorinBase (powder and small particle versions mixed) amendment with some FlorinBacter sprinkled on top just because. The pumice can be had from Hessponics and I'm 99% sure the laterite products are different mesh grades of red art clay I used for my substrate study. They don't look like the rusty/iron rich laterite I used to get back in the day. Even so, I think the material itself has benefits so I figured I'd use it.
FlorinVolcanit Rio Escuro. Once it was laid down I gave it a good spray with FaStart (a source of C, N, and P for fishless cycling. Another product I came up with; sorry, I can't tell you what the actual ingredients are as they're not stated on the label.) for shiggles to try to simulate the initial richness of Amazonia.
Spiderwood that I've been holding onto for eventual use in this tank (if it didn't get used for a reef instead of planted).
Not 100% sure as it came in with the wrong label. I'm pretty sure it's Seiryu though. Since this tank's not going to get CO2 and I had smaller bits laying around I figured why not use it?
Not sure yet, they haven't arrived. I may toss the Java Fern that's currently in the 80 gallon in there at some point if it's not needed for aquascaping contrast, etc.
Nothing set in stone yet. An Otto, Amano Shrimp, and a couple Nerites may get moved in there if needed. The Sparkling Gouramis may get moved over too once they get larger, we'll see. This is also a good opportunity to let the Mrs. pick out fish, which may trump all other options.
The tank's been running for 5 days without lights while the wood soaks and to see what happens when a very rich substrate is allowed to do its thing before adding plants and light. Again, for no other reason than shiggles.
From the viewing angle-
Thanks for watching,