This is my first post here, and I'm introducing my new tank. I've been planning a large reef tank for a number of years now, but I live in a pre-war apartment in NYC that I'm sure can't hold the weight, and I'm sure I'll move within a year or two so the set-up and tear-down just doesn't seem worth it. It's been a dream of mine to have a tank like that since I was a child, so if I'm going to do it, I want to do it properly.
Enter my new planted aquarium. What drew me to reef tanks was the idea of an ecosystem existing in this glass box. Something that I could build and maintain, but that in many ways could also maintain itself. I purchased Diana Walstad's book and devoured it cover to cover. I have a PhD in microbiology, so the science of it all really excited me.
I had every other type of freshwater tank as a child - Malawi Cichlids, Tropical fish, Mudskippers, a Kribensis species tank and a turtle. But this was a new endeavor. I remember as a kid in the late 90s that we would buy live plants from the LFS and sure enough they'd simply die over the course of a few weeks. So I'm amped to make plants a focus of this tank.
And now for the tank and it's contents:
- Innovative Marine NUVO Fusion Pro 14 Peninsula tank with APS stand
- IM MightyJet DC return pump
- Kessil A80 with gooseneck
- Eheim Jager 50W heater
- CO2 ART Pro-SE regulator with inline diffuser
I placed a ~1" layer of potting soil at the bottom, topped with CaribSea Eco-Complete. I aquascaped with Seiryu stone and driftwood.
I set the tank up on 07/15/20, and planted it right away with a Beginner Plant 15-pack from Buce Plant. The shipment contained the following:
- 3x Anubias Nana
- 3x Anubias Nana Petite
- 3x Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green
- 3x Microsorum pteropus Java Fern
- 3x Christmass Moss
I also added some Hemianthus Callitrichoides because I want to create a carpet, although I think I might have been a little over-ambitious with that on a new setup. A lot of it melted away, but some is hanging on and I can spot a few new leaves here and there so hopefully it will spread. Here's a pic of it freshly planted.
Lastly, I added some water lettuce from my LFS:
I've been testing NH3 everyday (with the Hanna LR checker) and it hangs at ~0.5ppm in the morning. I've been adding NH4Cl to bring it up to ~4ppm and by the next morning it has dropped back down to ~0.5ppm. I've only checked No2 once (the Hanna LR Nitrite checker only came with ~8 tests in the box, so I'm using them sparingly!) and one week post-setup it was just under 2ppm (with daily NH3 dosing since the tank started). So the cycle is on its way.
The water was very brown from the driftwood, so I added a bag or Purigen to the filter which cleared it up nicely. Before and after pics are below, which also qualify as FTS pics.
Before adding Purigen:
After adding Purigen:
I'll keep this thread updated, and I welcome constructive feedback and comments!