ĎSimple but niceí is the mantra here.
After exiting the hobby in 2016, I am getting back into it. I learned a lot with my previous 40 breeder and itís starting to come back to me (thanks primarily to this forum). That one started as a low tech and quickly evolved into a maintenance heavy high light CO2 stem growing machine. This time around, I want to find a middle ground between low tech and high tech. Ideally being able to grow and sustain most plants but without being a complicated and maintenance heavy tank.
This is the equipment I have selected:
: Landen 90p. I chose this due to having similar dimensions to a 40B and being familiar with that footprint. Iím a sucker for rimless tanks.
: DIY but inspired by the UNS tank stands. Itís nowhere near the same level of quality, but much cheaper at only $75 in materials. Going DIY was also a good excuse to acquire some new tools.
: CurrentUSA Serene Sun LE PRO. I couldnít find much info on this light, but Iím excited to give it a shot. I wanted a remote operated light with a built in timer, color adjustability, and a mid-grade price. CurrentUSA claims decent PAR and the spectrum will help support reds. Only time will tell if it works out.
: UNS 120 with stainless lily pipes. Seems adequate for my needs.
: Hydor in-line ETH-200. I perceive some controversy with these but I had good experiences with them in the past. I got a deal on an opened box that I couldnít pass up.
: FZONE Pro Series Aquarium Dual Stage CO2 Regulator with 5lb bottle. This one seems to be a mimic of the UNS dual stage regulator. It had decent reviews and was cheaper so I figured Iíd give it a shot. For now, Iím using an Aquario Neo Co2 Diffuser and drop checker.
: For now, leaning towards ATP Complete with an autodoser.
For hardscape I ordered some Manzanita Driftwood and 15lb Manten Stone from Pet Zone SD. Iíll be honest, I wasnít too pleased with what I received but thatís the price I paid for buying sight unseen. I think Iíll end up using it since I bought it already, but I would probably spend more and but WYSISWYG if I could do it again.
For substrate, I initially ordered 10L of extra fine Controsoil in black from Aquascape Supply. My plan was to use that for a carpet area with BDBS in the non-carpet area. Long story short, I found out they did not have it in stock like their site suggested with no ETA. It took entirely too much effort to find this out and Iím realizing I probably should have read reviews on Aquascape Supply before ordering. (Side note, I found out that Pet Zone SD and Aquascape Supply Co are one in the same). I canít find Controsoil in black in stock anywhere so substrate is currently TBD
. Iím considering Aquasoil, straight BDBS, or anything in between. Suggestions are appreciated!
For plant livestock, I am not set in stone on anything. Iím considering a dry start for a carpeted area, and will likely go with DHG or HC Cuba, or a mixture of both. When I do fill, I would like to plant heavily off the bat so the plant list will largely depend on whatís available when I do plant. These are the species I have shortlisted for now:
-Hemianthus callitrichoides Ďcubaí
-Eleocharis acicularis 'Mini'
-Micranthemum 'Monte Carlo'
-Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'
For fish, snails, shrimp, etc. I am still somewhat undecided. I had a GBR pair in my 40B and really enjoyed them. Iíd like another Ďcenterpieceí pair again, maybe even two pairs. 44gallons may be pushing it for that though. Iíll refine this list when I get closer to adding livestock. Here is my shortlist for now:
-Electric Blue ram pair
-Tetra variety schooling fish
-Assassin snail if necessary
So that leaves me with a substrate dilemma. Iíll continue doing research and will likely make a decision based on whatís readily available without breaking the bank. I recognize each has pros and cons. ĎSimple but niceí.
Questions I currently have:
Will BDBS with no root tabs be sufficient for dry-start carpet growth?
Does anyone have experience with this light? Iíd like to hear your experience.
Pictures for now. Once I have my substrate, Iíll begin scaping and update then.