Hey all, first post on this forum but I am a constant lurker.
I recently came back into the hobby about 6 weeks ago after a few years out and fixed up my old 30 gallon (standard 36x12x18"). When I set the tank up, I had already had something going before so I did a few 80% water changes and kept some filter media (to keep me from having to re-cycle the tank).
At first I went Low-Tech because I wanted to spend as little as possible to jump start my hobby again. I used one 17w t5 bulb, no co2, ferts, or substrate, planted some crypts and anubias from previous tanks as well as bought some water sprite (to pull as much nitrogen as possible from the water). None of these details really matter since I have changed so much, but basically that is just about it in terms of what I was doing to the tank. Not much at all.
I slowly but gradually have moved into what I would consider a semi hi-tech setting with the following criteria (I would love for people to give me advice as well as critique my setup) which I would consider a custom approach of some sort:
Light: 36" Finnex ray 2 ~29w
Filter: Fluval 204 canister
Powerhead: ~480gph (definitely feels like overkill.. Is it? I ordered a hydor koralia (sp) at 240gph so hopefully that will be the answer)
Co2: Fluval 20g rig with 16g cartridge, bubble counter (prob doing 1 bubble/2sec... Is that where it should be?) and I have it mainlined into the Fluval intake so that it goes through the canister and is dissolved before entering the water column
Substrate: inert pool filter sand heavily dosed with Osmocote+ root capsules as well as initially dosed with API root tabs
2x airstones in the back corners which run on a timer that turn on at night and shut off 1 hour before the lights come on (I run the co2 constantly)
Water change ~25% biweekly, I plan to shift to only changing once a week ~40-50%
7ml API co2 booster daily
5ml Flourish comprehensive 2x/week (going to increase to 7ml)
3ml Flourish iron daily (not necessarily going to use this always but as I have inert sand I figured adding more iron couldn't hurt. Also reserving the right to get some red into the tank)
Anubias nana v. Barteri
Cryptocryne wendtii green
28x neon tetra
10x black neon tetra (soon to be removed)
5x Denison Barb
5x ghost shrimp
1x bn Pleco (probably going to be moved too)
Some/most of my spelling of the plants and stuff is probably wrong so forgive me. Like i said I would really love some feedback and/or advice, as well as thoughts on my approach at “high tech”.
I will be constantly updating every few days with pics and would love for people to interact with me and give me their opinions and show off their strategies as well.