Hello everyone, my name is Drew, and I have a problem. Mainly I don't have enough time, money or space...I'm guessing I am not alone.
I've been lurking for a while now and have not really been able to find all the info I seek in a manner I can relate to my ideas, so hopefully someone can either confirm my plan, point out an obvious flaw or just scrap it altogether...
I've kept FW aquariums for years, actually decades, but I have never had plants. Every so often I would buy a couple and toss them in only to clean out the rotted remains. I am hoping to change all that now.
My current setup is a 65G, gravel substrate, 36" Current Satellite+ LED light, Eheim canister filter, 300W heater set to 81. I am looking to go light on the tech and plant her up. This current tank is 18 months old, but was seeded from a 35G tank I had that sprung a leak during a major overhaul, that tank was 3 years running.
I am going to take out my canister filter and build a sump, primarily for 2 reasons. First I want to get rid of the heater, airlines and ugly green Eheim paraphernalia from the display, and secondly because I have a 90G tank I will be setting up as a reef tank in the near future and want to practice my sumping now...
I've got a fish problem, I have a pair of silver dollars. I read here that bitter plants like anubias and java ferns are best, perhaps they don't like them? I like those plants, they seem to be ok with a gravel substrate and low light, I am thinking I am golden, but would like confirmation before I drop $100 on plants, these are my oldest fish, and family favorites so they are staying. They used to assault romaine, but in the past year I have been removing leaves for rot before they finish it off.
I have questions about CO2 also. I've read that you should plant heavily in the beginning, I am thinking that if I do so, a 65 has enough real estate that I am going to need to supplement CO2 and perhaps fertilize as well? I would prefer the DIY CO2 systems, would that be enough? Would I be able to diffuse directly into my sump or does it need to be pumped up to the display tank?
In addition to the silvers I also have an adult angel and a juvie clown loach, my other fish are 4 platys and two SAE, so not a huge fish load.
My PH hovers around 7.2, GH last I checked was 2dkh. At the moment I am doing water changes with municipal tap water aerated for dechlorination, but in the not very distant future I will be getting an RO/DI and using that water for all my tanks. Any ideas on what may be different regarding plants would be helpful.
I heard from the King of DIY that plants need to be quarantined just like fish. Is this to protect established plants? Fish? To try to ID possible hitchhikers? Or is he blowing smoke?
Honestly at this point I am not sure I know enough to really formulate any other intelligent questions...assuming any of the above fits that description in the first place
Thanks for your time!