This is my first attempt to create a planted aquarium, and actually this is a second aquarium in my life. 20 years ago, when I was a boy, we had a fishbowl with some guppies, some vals growing in the sand and some elodea floating on top. It was self-contained, without any filtering, circulation or artificial light (lower than "low-tech", sort of "bottom-tech"
), but guppies were rather happy there, and were actually breeding quite intensively.
For the last several years I was thinking about having an aquarium, and now the time has come. Here's my Tetra Crescent 5gal, 1 week old, low-tech, kinda sorta planted
Plant have only started to grow in, you can see cotton threads I've used to tie Java moss to the piece of driftwood. I've decided not to disturb plants at least for a month, I'm going only to replant the anubias. Currently it has rhisome lying on the gravel, while its roots are pinned to the gravel with some clips, made from pipe-cleaners (basically an iron wire with a cotton shell). I'm going to trim its roots, trim one leaf and tie the rhisome to a stone.
Marimo Moss Balls
4 Gold White Clouds (John, Paul, George and Ringo)
About 6 MTS
Tetra Crescent 5g stock lighting (15 LEDs), 12h/12h cycle managed by Zilla 11573 mechanical timer
Azoo Mignon 60 HOB filter
Hydor 25W heater, set to 74 F
Though I don't seem to overfeed my fishes (I give them a small pinch of flakes in the morning and in the evening), there is still a lot of leftover food on the bottom, as you may see in the picture. This is partially caused by the stream of water from filter making flakes sink fast. I'll try switching off the filter before feeding and switching it on in 5 minutes. Also I plan introducing some bottom feeders, probably RCSs.
My API test kit has arrived only today, I'm going to measure water quality daily and keep the track of records here
, I think it might be interesting to watch the water quality changes. I kick-started the tank a week ago with API Stress Zyme, adding fish 3 days after start (yes, I know, I'm doing bad things, I shouldn't have done this; alas, I'm too impatient). Now the readings are: ammonia - ~0.1 ppm (probably less), nitrite - 6 ppm, nitrate - 25 ppm. I'm going to perform 25% water change tomorrow.
Yes, I know, it looks awful so far and it seems that I've made all sorts of mistakes (surprisingly, fishes are doing well). But I'm learning and hopefully this aquarium will become a beautiful piece of nature once.