I received the CO2 equipment yesterday and got the equipment hooked up today. I've watched the pH go down .6 points in 4 hours so far running about 4bps. I made my own KH solution but I'm not sure how accurate it is - I'll probably break down and buy a standard just to be safe.
The bubble counter still hasn't turned green but after four hours it isn't as blue as when I started.
New lights have come in and have replaced the saltwater lights. I've kept the 10K lights which make up about 25% of the tank lighting. I'll see how this goes for the time being and possibly change them out later if it causes any problems. They are staying off at the moment of course to prevent algae from growing. My plan is to do a massive water change before I put the plants in.
The rest of the hardscape has arrived as well. I plan to get on additional driftwood to drape over the rocks on the left - if that doesn't look good I'll add it to the right with the others. It's hard to find large driftwood to fill a 180. The spray bars will eventually be hidden by plants and moss that I plan to grow over them. Here is an updated tank shot.
I've definitely settled on the fertilizer routine being the EI method. I'm real impressed by the research done behind this method. I "understand" the science which is good for solving problems that will come up later. I've bought some KNO3 and KH2PO4 and will use Seachem Flourish for trace mix. I was surprised how little one pound was. My dosing regime will be as follows.
+/- 3.0 tsp KN03 3x a week (N)
+/- 1.0 tsp KH2P04 3x a week (P)
+/- 50 ml Trace 3x a week. Flourish.
60-70% weekly water change with Prime
So much for the aquariumplants.com stuff - maybe I can use that on another tank some day.
I've started to identify the initial plants in the tank. Even though I've done a low-tech planted tank before with good success its been a while and I've introduced many new variables such as CO2 and fertilizing. So I figure I should start with a basic makeup of common plants that are fairly easy to keep.
5 - Myriophyllum tuberculatum
5 - Ludwigia repens
5 - Ludwigia glandulosa
10 - Bacopa caroliniana
10 - Vallisneria corkscrew (Val. sp. "Asiatica")
5 - Vallisneria contortion (Val. sp. contortionist)
5 - Green Foxtail (Myriophyllum pinnatum)
5 - Cabomba, Green (Cabomba caroliniana)
10 - Sagittaria
2 - Aponogeton crispus
1 - Crinum thaianum Water Onion
1 - Crinum calamistratum
1 - Kleiner Bär Sword (Echinodorus "kleiner bär")
1 - Madagascar Lace Plant
5 - HEMIANTHUS CALLITRICHOIDES (I'll try Tom's way of propagating a matt in an old 20 gallon I have laying around).
2 - Anubias nana
2 - Anubias coffefolia
Still haven't thought about fish. Got to get the plants going first.
That's it for now. Time to place the plant order and see how it goes.