So this isn't technically my first tank, but it might as well be. I begged my parents for a fish tank and got a 5 gallon hex for my 15th birthday, but never really took care of it.
My wife and I moved to Taiwan (applying to graduate schools here) last year and a coworker at my first job was a big fish keeper. His enthusiasm quickly rubbed off on me, and I purchased my first tank.
A year later, I've had a lot of fun with it, and run into a lot of problems. I'd say my biggest issue was just not knowing what I wanted. I initially started with a low-tech tank, but really wanted to grow a lush green carpet of dwarf baby tears. So over the past year I have upgraded just about everything but the tank.
One of these days I'll pull up pictures of the original tank.
This is the third iteration of this tank, and I am very happy with it. I had to start the tank over after I got overrun by basically every algae out there. I have regularly read articles on this forum for help and decided to do a tank journal in the hopes that everyone's advice and encouragement can really help me to get this right.
So I have a canister filter (DoPhin, think it is a local brand) that is rated at 10x the capacity of the tank, injected CO2 via an inline reactor, 2 x 2 T5HO bulbs and a 48w LED that was made for planted tanks.
Because in Taiwan all the plants are sold under their Chinese names, I don't know what all of them are, but maybe you all can help me identify them?
I definitely have dwarf baby tears and red camboba. The rest I am not really sure about. I'm busy with grad school applications or I would look up the scientific names by the Chinese ones.
Anyways, here is the tank on Day 1:
Bump: I didn't want to run this all in one crazy long post, so this is my first update.
I have been dosing with ferts recommended by my lfs. I have a store brand macronutrient mix (I think, again, yay Chinese!), and an iron supplement as well are Flourish Comprehensive. I plan on doing EI dosing with dry ferts when I finish this stuff up.
I have been doing the full dose daily (I basically just did the recommended weekly does, assuming two doses per week for flourish, and divided by 7) for the past 4 days since I set up the tank.
The taller plants pearl almost immediately when the lights come on (9 hrs a day, from 11:15 to 8:15) and everything follows within a few hours with everything going really well by dinnertime.
I have been watching closely for algae and today noticed this:
It would appear to be blue-green algae (I do know it is a bacteria).
I'm guessing I should back off on the ferts and do more frequent water changes?
On the upside, my baby tears are really rooting well. They used to pop-up if they got looked at hard, now they resisted the pulling when I tried to get the algae off.
What do you all think?
I would also like to note that after the tank is safe for additions (I currently have a ph between 6 and 6.5 (it is between those colors on my test) after CO2, .25mg NH4, 0 nitrite, 15mg nitrate) I am going to add shrimp first, yellow cherry shrimp and then crystal shrimp and allow them to build up a good population. I will also be adding nerite snails.
I have my old filter media, but rinsed it pretty good, so I will probably end up doing a cycle again, which I don't mind.
Once things are up and running I will add otos and a school of cardinal tetras. If one of my lfs's still has black emperor tetra around I may add a small school of those too.