This is my first experience with planted aquaria and I'll be keeping track of my progress as it comes along - ideally with a relative amount of success. This is a low-tech setup (I'll outline the equipment and the like in a minute). Although I have moderately high expectations, my college student budget restricts myself from going beyond the means of low-tech, and that's perfectly fine with me. I also have a 40 gallon long setup inhabited entirely by Lethrinops (a rare African cichlid species, close relatives of Aulonocara), so I can't complain at this point considering 2 very different tanks immerses myself nicely in this hobby.
As of right now (this first post), the tank has been setup for approximately 2.5 weeks. Now here are the actual details of it...
- Filtration: Eheim Classic 2213; Penguin 150 HOB
- Lighting: Coralife Aqualight T5 Double Strip - 2x18w (10000K/6700K)
- Heater: Hydor Theo 150W
- Substrate: Mystic White Pool Filter Sand
- Hygrophila corombosa
- Anubias barteri v. 'Nana'
- Anubias nana petite
- Microsorium pteropus
- Echinodorus 'Rubin'
- Cryptocoryne wendtii
- None as of yet
- Microgeophagus ramirezi (ARRIVING 06.18)
- API Root Tabs
- Seachem Flourish (2x / week)
- Seachem Flourish Excel (1x / 2 days)
Needless to say I'm not trying to overcomplicate things at this point. The more concise everything is, the better. I simply don't have the breadth of knowledge to manipulate anything further (particularly given my low lighting and basic dosing schedule - combined with an inert substrate).
I'm still debating on what other fish to put in the tank after the rams arrive on Wednesday, but I'm definitely in no rush. Most likely there will be a small group of otos for algae control and a small school of tetras (this stocking plan isn't exactly a novel one, but the result should be striking as it has been in many other cases).
Current water readings are as follows (via results from API test kit):
- Ammonia (NH3): 0 ppm
- Nitrite (NO2): 0 ppm
- Nitrate (NO3): 5.0-10.0 ppm
- pH: 7.1
- Temperature: 81° F
Everything should be pretty stable and ideal for the rams when they arrive, as the seller kept them in a pH of 7.1 as well. I also threw in a handful of peat nuggets into the Eheim.
Now that you've read through that mess of erroenous information (or quickly skimmed, it don't matter to me), here's the photographic evidence that this thing tangibly exists...
All input and advice is welcomed. Thanks for checking this out.