Welcome to my tank journal! I've been a lurker here a long time but this is my first real post. After some time out of the hobby, I'm trying planted tanks again. I had bettas a long time ago, but they died and I was devastated. I don't want bettas any more. But I love aquariums, so I can't stay away.
I set this up right before leaving for Christmas-- when I got back, the water was like coffee! But after a few days of water changes, it seems to have settled down to a light amber.
10g AGA aquarium
Full hood with 2x 23w 6500K Sylvania CFLs -- probably overkill but I don't have 13w's at the moment. I'll dial down if I get an algae problem.
Koralia Nano 240 powerhead for circulation
Eheim Jager 50W set to around 74'
1-1.5" of eco-scraps garden soil
-- apparently it's composted vegetable matter, capped with 0.5" fine black gravel.
For some reason my substrate seems to flee the middle of the tank. It's deep around the edges and shallow in the middle, just where I want to plant my rooted plants, darn it! I laid it flat when I started... perhaps this is the dreaded gravel creep?
dwarf water lily
salvinia minima and duckweed
I had some water lettuce but the roots got chopped off in the powerhead and I didn't like them that much anyway.
Foxtail and watersprite are floating because I got tired of planting and couldn't figure out where to put them. I'll find them a spot soon.
Nothing, really. I wanted to make sure the plants got established and water params were steady. But I have various small critters, as follows:
Right now there are a ton of pond snails that hitchhiked in on the plants. Now, I don't have a problem with pond snails as long as they don't eat my plants. How will I know if they start doing that? Every time I see plant damage, I suspect those snails. Like, one of the swords has a leaf tip looking all tattered -- POND SNAIL, DID YOU DO THAT? And there's a hole in one of my water lily leaves... it hasn't grown... but I'm watching it.
I also put in one MTS... I see him on top of the substrate sometimes, which doesn't seem like a good thing? I thought he was supposed to be a sneaky hiding dude? But he always disappears, so I guess he was just resting...
There's also seed shrimp and various little planktony creatures (copepods?). I think they are cute.
Quite honestly, if I could NOT put in any fish, I think I would be happy. I love fish. Fish are stress. Fish are worry. So I'm thinking: red cherry shrimp. They are supposed to be easygoing and I think I could hold it together if one died.
Full tank shot (jungle - I have no idea what I'm doing):