EDIT 1/30/20: Here's how it looks right now, day 16 of dry start:
I'm putting together a 5 gallon desktop Iwagumi tank. This will be my first ever planted tank, but I'm going for it. I've been wanting to do this in the back of my mind ever since (like everyone else) I saw my first Amano tank, I believe around 2003 or so. I got an unexpected Christmas bonus this year, so I ordered a bunch of stuff in about a week.
- Tank: UNS 5N 4.6g low iron rimless
- Light: ONF Flat Nano, inline MingDak ramp timer
- Filter: Eheim 2213 Classic 250, removed Eheim Mech/Substrat Pro media and replaced with sponge, white pad, Seachem Matrix 1.5L, carbon pad, and Seachem Purigen 100ml
- Lily pipes: VIV 13mm inflow, 10mm spin outflow (otw from Aliexpress, crossing my fingers)
- Hose: ADA clear 10mm & 13mm
- Skimmer: ADA Vuppa-Ⅱ, probably only occasionally or at night as it is so huge in a tiny tank. Also as a back up filter or for a makeshift quarantine tank. I bought it in a moment of weakness, but it is beautiful.
- CO2: CO2Art Pro-SE regulator with 12oz bottle, DIY 2" x 10" clear PVC reactor with bio-balls and heater inside at bottom
- Heater: Catalina Aquariums Titanium 50w
- Water test: API Master Freshwater Kit, API GH/KH kit, and Hanna pH/TDS pen tester HI98129 for when I have a better idea what I'm doing with CO2 and ferts.
- Tap water
- Substrate: Tropica Aquarium Soil + Aquarium Soil Powder
- Hardscape: Seiryu (mini landscape) stone
- Plants: Elocharis acicularis 'mini', Helanthium tenellum 'green', Helanthium 'quadricostatus' - I am copying the plants that Jurijs Jutjajevs uses in his 5N video because they are all easy and I don't know about very many plants yet. I will be copying his lazy dry start method, as well, with springtails.
- Fertilizer: ADA Green Brighty Neutral K, ADA Green Brighty Mineral, ADA Green Brighty Iron, ADA Green Brighty Nitrogen
- Conditioner: Seachem Prime, ADA Clear Water, ADA Vita-Mix
Right now, I've set the soil and hardscape in the tank and I'm letting it stew while I wait for powder soil to arrive. I'm a bit worried I might have too much stone in the tank and there won't be enough space to ethically keep any fish. I'll take pictures when I get to my office in the morning and post them. I'd like to have a school of the very smallest fish possible.
My tissue culture plants arrived five days ago. They've been unopened, but I'm not sure how long they can stay healthy in their sealed cups. It gets to about 58F/14.5C at night in my office, which is probably a good thing for them? I see them in refrigerator-style display cases in videos. I have them sitting so that they get indirect light from the ONF which is at the 25% setting right now. I ordered 2x ADA cultures of DHG mini and 2x from Tropica 1-2-Grow and they are remarkably different looking right now. I'll post a picture of that as well.
My light timers keep burning out before I can even finish programming them. I have no idea why. I've tried this one
twice and now this one
, both presumably are the same inside, and they both died in a similar fashion, while programming. I have another on the way but I might need to switch to an old-fashioned outlet timer
like I ordered for the CO2 solenoid. I just don't have that much space in the 2x Ikea EKET
cabinets under my desk inside which I am storing everything.
I'm going to do the lazy dry start method so I can get a chance to get real comfortable with the chemistry of freshwater aquarium water before I flood the thing. I want to be ready for any algae situation. Because it'll be visible at my office I'd really like to minimize any potentially embarrassing mistakes by doing lots of research and moving slowly. I certainly moved quickly enough in the ordering process.
Thanks for following along! Here's my George Farmer impression: what fish should I stock?
PS: Can I pre-cycle the filter during the dry start period by filling it with water, hooking the inflow directly to the outflow, and putting a tsp of NH4 in there every week?