I really didn't intended to start a thread on this aquascape and tank. At least not so soon. The whole build was documented here
. And what a blast it was too!
So now for the end product of that effort... which is really more like the beginning, at last!
This is a pic of the tank on the night of the very 1st planting a few days ago. It got more plants the next day, and started a bit of GW that very same day. Oh boy.
If I can pull it off, it will be a biotope, or a reasonable approximation of one. It is supposed to represent a Cypress forest, like the ones I grew up fishing in as a kid. You should be able to make out the Cypress stump on the left, and the Cypress knee on the right. Most of the plants are North American:
Eleocharis acicularis - Dwarf Hairgrass
Eleocharis montevidensis - Giant Hairgrass
Echinodorus cordifolius - Radacon Sword
Ludwigia repens - Water Primrose
Ludwigia arcuata (or maybe brevipes - TBD) - Narrow-leaf Ludwigia
Nymphaea (?) - North American variety, hardy, changeable, "Indiana"
Nymphoides aquatica - Banana Plant
With a few notable exceptions:
Nymphaea lotus var. viridis - not native, but introduced around a hundred years ago, and pervasive now through out the south
Hemianthus Callitrichoides - arguably native on the Gulf Coast, depends on your source.
Vesicularia dubyana - Java Moss - I wrapped some lava rocks with this and used them on the border between the Ecco-complete and sand. HC is planted along that border, and once (if) it kicks in, I'll remove the moss rocks.
No fish yet except a lone Crossocheilus siamensis - SAE, and a few Caridina japonica - Amano shrimp, that seem to have disappeared. As the tank stabilizes I plan on adding more shrimp and probably stocking with North American species.
For now, I've got to get the CO2 plumbed (had to build a new DIY diffuser), the UV plumbed in correctly (it's kind of slapdash now).
It's an Ecco-complete substrate, with a separated quartz sand area. I would have preferred to not have any ferts in my water column for a while, and let the EC drive the initial growth. But my tap water is heavy with Phosphates and Nitrates. So I've gone ahead and added Potassium, Iron and TMG. And at least until I get the CO2 running, I'm adding Excel.
Since the pic was taken there are more plants added. And I'm not happy with how the location of the "creek bed", or channel of water in the middle turned out. I wanted it further to the right, and angled more. I also wanted it to have a bit more of a rise in the middle so it would visually drop off, kind of disappearing off into the distance. I'll try to fix all that once the plants start to root.
For now, it's plumbing, waiting out the GW, stabilize the ferts, look for signs of cycling, and wait.