I've had some planted tanks before (a 75 gallon and some various smaller aquariums), but since moving I didn't have much time to dedicate to the hobby. Besides, my roommate and I also got to raise two dogs from puppies before acquiring another adult dog and cat, so we felt pretty full on the animal front. Finally, I started really missing it and caved completely. I'd been collecting bits and pieces over about a year until starting this up at the beginning of the month. Luckily since I had just about everything it came together quite quickly, which was great since once I get my mind set on something I become incredibly impatient.
So now that you know a bit about me, here are the specs:
Tank: 20 gallon long
Lighting: Finnex Fugeray Planted+ 36"; hung on electrical conduit with some picture wire. It's not exactly a looker but it's functional until I get around to hanging them from the ceiling
Filtration: SunSun HW-302; some acrylic lily pipes
Substrate: MGOPM on the bottom and MTS on the top, capped with some fine black gravel; got the MTS from an online vendor, smells something awful but with dirt that's a good sign
Stand: something awful from a chain pet store. It would have been a better idea to either reuse a table off of the street or just make my own, this thing is wobbly and crooked. I'm looking to eventually make one of my own
Eleocharis sp. "mini"
Hydrocotyle triparita "Japan"
Rotala indica (Ammania "bonsai")
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Mi Oya'
Anubias barteri nana 'petite'
The tank is one I've had for many years. It went from some puke-colored gravel housing a guppy and a Raphael Catfish (now huge and happy with another one in a 150), to a dedicated shrimp tank for RCS, and now to this. It needed some TLC in terms of cleaning: hello vinegar and razor blades!
The driftwood was left over from the 150 gallon at my family's house. I created some levels with egg crate diffuser and secured it with some zip ties.
Tank with the sand border and all the dirt in before being capped:
Picture of the whole setup in its little nook:
It's hard to tell, but the tank is actually right off of the couch. It's tucked by the wall between our living room and our dining room. This was partly because it was one of the only places in the house that wouldn't receive direct sunlight, but mostly to avoid the two 70-100 pound German Shepherds body slamming into the tank. Now they just dig for their toys underneath it! I'll need to get a picture of the three balls and two antlers hiding underneath sometime.
My order of aquarium plants:
They were all pretty fantastic, most were tissue cultured. I'm not really that paranoid about snails (I actually like them to a point), but I thought it would be nice to start with "new" stock, but also figured if they're in that gel they'd be a bit more forgiving if I forgot them in the box for half an hour or so. Though I shouldn't have worried, I practically snatched it out of the mailman's hands!
Finished with planting and almost ready to fill:
Sorry about the ridiculous glare, this tank is just about impossible to photograph during the day. The wall opposite this tank is basically just one big wall of windows. Great for the people inside, not so much for glare and reflections.
Overhead of the filled tank. Notice how you can't see the intake or outtake for the filter? Well, the stupid thing decided to run for about ten minutes and then the motor must have burned out on me. Got a new one today that's up and running nicely so far, but I'd rather not jinx it.
Some extra shots:
The tank was without a working filter for two days so it's looking a bit yellow, and all the plants are starting to make the switch from emersed growth so it looks rough all over. I'll try and get more as it goes along. I need to get my hands on my ammonia to start the cycle, and then I need to get a timer and a siphon. I've had the light for almost a year, but still no siphon! Somehow that makes sense. In terms of plants I'm just kind of throwing a bunch in to see which do well, though I am hoping to put some smaller buces in there once things get established and I'm not worried about killing $80 worth of plants. I thought about some moss, but I want to keep the driftwood mostly uncovered to keep the character. Maybe some fissidens, we'll see.
Thank you everyone, and hope you enjoy the tank!