Hi everybody! My name is Paul and I am from the Twin Cities of Minnesota.
I have had many aquariums throughout my life, all of them freshwater, and several of them have been planted. My most recent tank was this 55g, planted using laterite and gravel, DIY CO2, HOB power filters, and some hobbled-together lights. It was a great tank for about a year and then it crashed... hard. Lost pretty much everything in just a few days. That was about 12 years ago.
I never got that tank going again. Too many other things going on in my life. But it has been sitting in the basement all this time. So, last week I finally decided to set it up again. I have more time to take care of it and more $$ to get it set up right.
I have spent the week cleaning it and moving it to the living room. I am only re-using the tank and the stand... everything else will be new. So far, I have purchased some substrate from the LFS and ordered a canister filter from [Ebay Link Removed]
I have been reading tons on this site and I figured I should join, share my progress, and get some advice.
Here is my current setup:
Tank: 55 gallon AllGlass
Filtration: Marineland C-360 canister
CO2: none - but will be getting pressurized system
Substrate: laterite + 45 lbs FloraMax + 50 lbs play sand
Fish: probably some gourami... right now I am thinking about paradise gouramis. And then some ottos, yoyo loaches, kuhli loaches for bottom work. And maybe some Celestial Pearl Danios or possibly swordtails to fill it out.
Plants: not really sure yet. Some moss on my driftwood. Some glosso or some kind of grass for alot of short stuff. Probably some crypts and maybe some micro chain swords. Need some ideas for some background plants.
I will probably order a light setup within a few days. I am leaning towards a T5 fixture... trying to decide if I should get one with 4 bulbs or if 2 or 3 would be fine.
I have some driftwood being shipped and I want to figure out my hardscape before I add the substrate. I was watching some Amano videos and I see that he focuses on the hardscape first, so I am going to try that.
I could use some advice on cycling the tank. I want to add some of the plants before I fill it with water. Should I have CO2 immediately also? Should I add fish after a certain period of time, or could someone point me towards some info on how I should be testing to determine when it has cycled?
So, here is my tank so far! No water yet! Only the bags of substrate. Might be a week or two before I get everything I need to get it going!
Feel free to give me some advice!