Havent been on the forum for quite a while, so first I'd like to say hi. Due to many personal issues like going thru a divorce (and all the fun that goes along with that like losing my house and my beloved pond) I'm just now getting back into keeping fish tanks. Mainly in the past I have kept cichlids in a 75 gallon, and did a 10 gallon planted tank a few years back in the winter, but lost interest in it when ponding season came back around. But anyways I had an old 20 gallon tank (with white gravel still in it), stand, standard hood with the fluroescent fixture broken, and old double wide Walmart filter (I think its called an Aqua Tech 30-60), and a 10 gallon incandescent hood. I had to make this tank as cheap as possible, so I used all the above items mentioned, after losing my 75 gallon cichlid tank and my pond along with my house after the divorce this was the best way for me to get back into the hobby, so short cuts had and still have to be taken, but hopefully with my experience I can make something "cool" out of it.
First thing I did is take the broken fluroescent fixture out of the 20 gallon hood, removed the incandescent fixture out of the 10 gallon, and wired it up to the switch in the 20 gallon hood. I then placed 2 of the biggest most powerful "screw in" fluroescent bulbs I could find, I think they are either 38 or 42 watts, either way they are the ones that say they are the equivalent of 150 watt standard light bulbs. So that's my lighting.
For the substrate I just used the white gravel that was still in the tank from the last time I had the tank running 2-3 years ago. I would have liked to have used laterite and black gravel, but it was one of the ways I thought I could save some money. If all goes as planned the gravel wont be seen much anyways. To add some kind of nutrients to the substrate I added in Jobes plant spikes.
For CO2 I am going with the DIY yeast method that I inject into the filter intake and let the impeller pulverize the CO2 bubbles into teeny tiny bubbles that are hopefully getting disolved into the water (same method I had success with on my 10 gallon planted tank). I'm using 2 bottles, each with 2 cups of surgar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of dry yeast (twice what I used on my previous 10).
For fertilizers I already had the dry ferts stored in a freezer from my previous planted tank. I have no tests (again saving money) but am going by what I used on the previous 10 gallon successfully. So every other day I am dosing 10 ppm nitrates, 20 ppm potassium, and 0.55 ppm phosphurous. Before I dose I am doing a roughly 30% water change. Right now I am doing the water changes every other day mainly because I didnt allow the tank to properly cycle, I'll give it a month and then I'll start doing 50% water changes once a week. I also am putting in a capful of I believe Flourish Comprehensive with every fertilization.
For the plants/aqua scaping. I am using chain sword for the foreground, hoping to be able to acheive the "grassy lawn" effect with, its what I used on my previous 10 gallon and I really liked it. In the back corners I have what I believe to be a couple of crypts (they werent labled), I think one is a wendetti and the other a lutea. Then in the back middle I am going for a centerpeice of a huge wisteria and a sword. I also have a peice of cherry wood, that peice of wood is from a wild cherry tree I chopped down 5 or 6 years ago and have been using it in my tanks for quite some time, I really love the color of it.
Fish/fauna. I probably have it over populated, but what the heck
I was a fish guy before I was a plant guy. 3 male fancy guppies, 7 female fany guppies (I hope to maintain a steady population, I'm sure the babies will be able to find a hiding place once the chain sword grows in. A tiger barb (started off with 3 but the other 2 died the next day, damn Walmart fish). 2 paradise fish, 2 opaline blue gouramies, 4 SAEs, and 3 black mystery snails.
Here are some pics I took on March 1st, right after I got the plants and most of the fish.