So! After what seems like weeks of my tank collecting dust, the pile of 'parts' growing larger, I've finally decided to document all of this so far.
Initially this project was to utilize a 20L (30x12x12), then came the quest to go find a suitable stand. After suffering through the (IMO) poor quality builds in the usual places (PetSmart, PetCo) I managed to find a relatively decent one at a lfs.
It was after getting this new stand that suddenly the 20L looked a little inadequate.... and back to the LFS I go. Hence, now we have 37G! (30 1/4 x 12 1/2 x 22 3/4)
The previous 10g I had was using MTS
which considering I half-baked it at the time, it held up reasonably well and the crypts I had going were thriving even with just a CFL bulb, reflector and diy co2. That tank slowly got away from me as the snails seemingly multiplied exponentially.
This time around I chose to take a more deliberate and labored approach a.k.a. weeks of research, gathering and preparation. At the moment I have nearly 5 gallons of mineralized soil and I have to say that it was indeed a treat to make because I got to play in the dirt again
....some things you just can't grow out of. It was during the soaking period that I came across EHS: Enriched Humic Substrate
. It looked like a genuinely good idea, so I went with it. Found most of the stuff here and there, the other little tidbits I picked up off of the bay of E. The plan now is to mix the EHS with the already mostly mineralized top soil.
For a cap, I currently have coarse sand and 1/2" brown river gravel for a cap - not sure which to go with though the sand is looking enticing.
For CO2, I have a pressurized setup thats moving along nicely. A 10# tank, a dual stage regulator I hope to have secured within a weeks time (funds allowing)
Lastly is the lighting (LEDs) which still has me a tad perplexed as to the what and how. Though I did already splurge for this sexy 4.230"x28" heatsink from heatsinkus.
And that is where I'm at currently in this project...the latter ends of planning.
Pictures on the way!