The tank, as of 20 minutes ago. A bit fuzzy from the change over (everything was in a 20 gallon High), lots of junk floating around. I already added the Bolivian Ram back to the tank. I know people might freak about this, cycling and whatnot, but I did not clean the filters or the gravel during the change over. All I did was add new water, as I do ever week. I'm not worried, and you shouldn't either.
Lighting: 1x 15watt T8 bulb
1x Flora Grow light, think it's a T8 as well, but I can't read it.
Filtration: 1x AquaClear 20
1x Aqueon 10
Dosing: 10mL of Nutrafin Plant Gro, pretty much a knock-off, much cheaper version of Excel. Once daily at present
Substrate: Flourlite Dark, 20lb bag. Eco-Complete, 20lb bag (note: about 5lbs of each went into my Eclipse 6)
Plants: Amazon Sword
Narrow Leaf Java Fern
Pond Snails (I pick these out to feed to my puffer when I see them)
Female Halfmoon Betta (Crimson)
Uhhh... yeah, I think that's about it for right now. Got a photo period of about 12hrs going on right now and we'll see how things progress.
The tank is 30" L x 12" W x 12" H making it 18.7 gallons empty. I think with substrate, fish, plants, and equipment, it will probably be in the range of about 15 gallons.
Prospective Fauna List::
Ottos, 3. Can be replaced by nerite(sp?) snails. Just want some form of algea help.
Now, the real debate. To turn this into a sorority tank of female bettas (I currently have 2), or into just the general live-bearer jungle. I just sold the last of my platys on Saturday. I can easily get some nice guppies from my boyfriend. I also have a bolivian ram (male) of which I could make this a showcase tank for him. But I also love the look of a Cockatoo Cichlid and would then rehome the Ram.
I am completely in love with Apistogramma bitaeniata. But apparently, they're not the most forgiving of the apisto family. So I think I would wait before investing in them. My second choice, and more beginner friendly fish is Apistogramma cacatuoides. They have a much more forgiving pH range (6.0-8.0) whereas the first is like... 6.5-6.8
My water is 7.0 so I really don't want to be adding chemicals to make it "perfect" The cacatuoides are also apparently the easiest of the apistos to breed. So... yay? I'll probably go for the triple red strain, which seems to be the most common (and the most beautiful IMO) so, I do believe I have my stars.
I'll probably get a trio of corys & ottos and about a dozen or so dithers, cardinal tetras. Then again, that might be an over-whelming amount of red in the tank. But I think with the green of the plants, (red and green are contrasting colours and look awesome together) and the dark sand, it should all work out in the end.