Well, it's been a few years since I had a planted aquarium. I had taken my neglected tank down and placed all components in the basement for storage. My neighborhood was flooded in a very negative way and I had about 6 feet of water in my basement. The tank was ruined; the lighting system was ruined my Co2 cylinder is slightly rusted (salvageable?) and my needle valve may be ruined...Que sera sera.
I ordered a 24 gal nano cube and assembled tank and stand. Purrrseus and Meatwad were alittle too curious; thus, had to be banished.
The tank and stand
The most difficult part was leveling the tank. I was able to level it in one direction (L/R); however, I couldn't get it leveled front/back without throwing off my previous work. I eventually unscrewed the feet and shimmed the tank with acrylic shims.
Next, I added a substrate rich in Iron.
Well...I actually used Flourite. I have imagined eating Flourite though. It probably is tastier and easier to digest than Grape Nuts.
This is where things get irritating! I realized that the lights equipped were 2x36w 50/50s. I ordered some 6700k bulbs and figured I'd sell the 50/50s on ebay. I received some free L. sessiliflora from someone, priot to receiving my bulbs. So, I decided to place them in the tank, without light.
(Monday) I placed my order for the bulbs and I received an email stating that my bulbs had been shipped.
(Tuesday) I placed an order for plants since my bulbs were on the way. It turns out that the online store ships plants out the next week, if placed after 5pm on Monday.
(Friday) I hadn't received my bulbs; so, I contact the online store via phone. It turns out the store didn't get their shipment of 6700k bulbs as expected. This was irritating, because I received an automatic email stating that my bulbs WERE shipped. I was told to expect an email on Monday.
(Monday) I contacted the online store via phone. Received a recording to contact by email due to high call volumes. Sent an email inquiring about shipment.
(Teusday) Sent additional email to online store.
(Wednesday) received reply "We are looking into it" (That's it..."We are looking into it"?)
(Thursday) Received plants via mail. Received no emails from "bulb store".
(Friday) Planted plants and decided to use 50/50s until bulbs arrive. Hooked up DIY Co2.
Foreground consists of HC (L) and Pogostemon helferi. The middle ground consists of Lobelia cardinalis and some Petite Anubius nana on the driftwood. I placed the driftwood towards the right side of the tank pointing towards the back. I didn't want to create a centerpiece; perhaps I should have went with a taller species.
I placed C. retrospirilis in the back right corner. I figured this would create some shade that the anubias could enjoy. The retrospirilis as smaller than I had suspected. The L. sessiflora has melted. I kept what was salvageable and planted this near the crypt for now. In a matter of a couple days it is starting to grow.
I placed the Difformis in the back left corner for now. I wanted to make a plant row with this; however, it's a little leggy now. I included a pic of an old tank, in which I used difformis to create a bushy row.
The Limnophila aromatica
is not doing so well. You can see some of the plant is melting. One stem fell apart and the other two have a little bit of growth. The plant should improve when I get appropriate lighting.
I'm probably going to order additional retrospiralis and perhaps replacement L. aromatica (if a majority dies). Now we wait and let things grow in!