So far this tank has been a learning adventure, involving some hard knocks!
I first started it about 3 months ago with low light and no plants. I used filter material and sand from my African Cichlid tank to pretty much eliminate the cycle. I added some Giant Danios almost immediately in order to give the nitrifying bugs something to chew on. The plan was to wait for some African Shell-Dwellers (small cichlids).
Since I was not willing to wait forever, and the mail-order idea did not appeal, the plan was scrapped. The addition of a small amount of ground shells in the substrate are a remnant from "Plan A".
Plan B included plants. So I upgraded the lights to two 24W T5 bulbs and the filter to a Rena XP1. I also made a DIY CO2 system with which I overdosed my danios and rosy barbs "until dead"
The DIY background is brand-new in this shot!
After recovering from the trauma I researched some more and came upon the "grape jelly" solution on this board. I've been using a variation since, with great results.
No picture of the changes (still in the camera) ...but here is a video from last week:
Things have grown quite a bit since then (as has the BGA!)
tank: 30" x 13" x 16"
Filter: Rena XP1
Background: DIY foam/concrete/gravel/paint/roots/epoxy/furry rodents/etc
Plants: Val, Amazon, Cobomba, some "grass"? and water hiazynth from my pond (which is where the BGA started, doh)
: otos, odessa barbs, black neons, raphael catfish
Temp: 23 deg C
Kh: 30 ppm
Nitrate: <5 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Ammonia: 0 ppm
Water Changes: 25% 2x/wk
CO2: DIY in 4L bottle. (brewing yeast and replenished syrup solution)
diffusion through Rena Vortex fitting (May work too
The main problem right now seems to be blue-green slime. It's not anyhwere near the choking level yet. With the addition of CO2 and Flourish I seem to be winning the battle. If that doesn't work total lights out is easy to achieve, as my office only gets natural light through the door. Close the door and it becomes a dark room. Over the holidays I can keep the lights off for almost two weeks. I wonder what will be left of the plants?
- get a drop checker (tired of pH tests!)
- diversify / change my plant types (low carpet)
- mix sand with something useful(?) and darker
- re-house fish as they outgrow their accommodation
I've got some more images and video taken today; which I'll upload soon.
Feedback is appreciated