New house, new tank, right? Perfect time to start something new.
It's been a while since I've had a new
tank and I figure it's time to scratch that itch.
After seeing this thread
and watching Rachel O'Leary's videos
, I decided to go for an all-in-one that would fit on an unused counter in my kitchen. Enter the most recent version of the Fluval Spec V. It's small, sleek, has a great filtration system, nice LEDs for low-medium plant growth and it won't be a fully open top humidity nightmare this time of year.
I spent the last couple weeks sorting through my hardscape supplies and found the perfect piece of "spider" wood so I could get to work when the tank arrived.
After unboxing, leak tests and functionality testing, I started trying things out.
I like option one the best and decided to go with it. Not sure if I'll trim the wood or not but I'm leaning toward leaving it as it is.
Here's a look from above:
It doesn't interfere with the light and some emergent growth might be nice. Who knows?
There's plenty of space in the rear left corner for planting and attaching plants:
Plenty of hidey holes for shrimp:
Only minor modifications need to be made to make the tank shrimp-safe. Filling this slot that leads into the filter media chamber with silicone:
And a similar slot that's between the filter and pump chambers:
Both are there for less experienced aquarists to prevent the pump from running dry. I'm not having any of that nonsense, though, and am gonna remedy the situation before filling the tank.
Likely won't cover the intake baffle but will stuff some sponge or filter media behind it to keep shrimp out. If that doesn't work, I've got plenty of stainless steel mesh and fiberglass window screen.
As you can see, it'd be easy to attach window screen inside the chamber. A bit of silicone and all would be well. I've got plenty of time to figure something out, as it'll be at least a week before I fill it up to begin the cycle. Then another 4-6 weeks before livestock moves in.
Quickly realized this thing needed a black background and got out a razor blade and some shelf liner.
Here's a look at the hardscape as it stands:
From the end:
My workspace is to the right of the tank, kind of adjacent to the granite overhang bar. So this will roughly be my vantage point:
Not bad if I may say so myself. Not the fanciest tank I've done but definitely not the worst. (This is, however, the worst counter top I've ever seen. Can't wait to get quartz. And the faucet? Don't get me started.)
I plan to house Taiwan Bee shrimp - have my eye on some Black King Kongs - and am ready to bring in new blood to my existing shrimp colonies. Not 100% set on BKKs but they're at the top of my list at the moment.
Despite having a ton of Aqua Soil Amazonia on-hand, I think I'll be using Extra-Fine Controsoil as a substate. Regular Amazonia just doesn't look as nice as smaller grained substrates in tiny tanks.
Since I want to start fresh, I ordered several different kind of plants. Whether they'll all show up remains to be seen.
The following Buces showed up today:
Mini Dark Melawi
Velvet Wide Leaf
They're a bit broken up and some are slightly damaged but I think they'll look great once things get settled.
Expecting a bunch of mosses, crypts and anubias over the next few days/week. One of my vendors told me some of what I want is unavailable, so we'll see what happens. In the meantime, I've got a tub set up to temporarily house all the plants:
Nothing is set in stone but I like the rough plan I've got laid out in my mind. Anubias, Crypts, Bucephalandra, maybe Hydrocotyle tripartita or H. sibthorpioides. Cool, simply-colored shrimp. Slow growth. Easy maintenance. Just my kind of tank.
Will update more as I get things going. Also in the process of restarting my 3gal longs at the same time.
Thanks for reading!