First of all, I'd like to introduce myself. I've been keeping planted tanks for a long time now (over 13 years), and recently I've decided to set up a nano planted tank to hone some skills.
This tank started as 35x16x21(H) cm, 11L tank (that would be something like 3 gallon and 14x6x8 inches). It was ran with a small canister filter, no heater (tropical weather where I live) and pressurized CO2 running on an airstone close to the filter inlet. Light was a horizontal 23 or 30W CFL with a very poor reflector.
First layout was a simple Iwagumi with a very fine sand substrate and some flourish tabs. This one went pretty well during the time it was setup. However, the final pic was taken when HC wasn't looking sharp.
The next post will be the current situation.
I got tired quickly because there is not much to do in a iwagumi setup, so I switched to a scape with some wood and stem plants. I also used aquasoil this time because I felt HC unrooted easily in fine sand if I let it grown. Well, all I can say is that aquasoil is definitely worse for the initial planting, but it also works fine.
The third setup had quite a few changes. First of all, I ordered a custom nano tank with a built in internal sump to make filter maintenance easier and hide all equipment. The dimensions now are 35x20x20 cm (14x8x8 inches) and the sump in the back adds more 35x10x20 (14x4x8). The light is the same reflector but with 2 13W CFL, as I felt only 1 light was giving poor coverage. CO2 is being injected in the return pump venturi. This time, I've tried a Brazilian inspired layout because that's what the cool kids do and I felt that it would teach perspective.
Everything was stable and running well until I decide to switch R. rotundifolia with R. mexicana and R. wallichi with R. H'RA. In the 2 following days, all my shrimp died (2 year old colony) and a algae outbreak started. I'm puzzled to why, because I have not touched anything else, just replanted some stuff. What makes me really sad is loosing my shrimp.
(when mayhem started)