Yep I just couldn't stand it. Its just too cool, nifty looking, and new. Hoppy, hydrophyte, and trackhazard made it look so easy. :P Its been really fun so far. I am not one with the green thumb for terrestrial plants so this is pretty much an experiment at this point to see if I can get something decent going.
Those who might be interested in doing one of these don't hesitate to contact Riparium Supply
. They have been excellent from my first message all the way to the order and beyond.
While at the local fish place buying stocking for another tank my wife told me to buy whatever I wanted as long as she got a dwarf gourami tank out of it.
So here we are. A gent in my local club had a 7x2 ft. stand that he wanted to get rid of and fixed me up with the 29g for helping move a 240 plywood tank. Since its such an experiment for me I didn't really worry about aesthetics, thats why I set up the tank room.
At some point in the not too distant future this tank will have a 120g beside it.
Equpment so far:
150W HQI MH fixture with 8k bulb - massive overkill but hanging ~3 ft over tank
Base substrate - washed pool filter sand
Heater - still need to order
filtration - eheim aquaball 2206 - need to order
planters - 24" wide combo pack from riparium supply
Xanthosoma 'Dwarf Green'
dwarf mondo grass - Ophiopogon japonicas
dracaena sp. x2
First thing to take care is lighting this puppy so I slapped up a few 12" planter hangers which put the MH fixture dead center over the tank... simple enough. I've got the hangers waaaay up there so I can adjust it all the way back to ~4ft away. I'm think its somewhere around 2.5-3ft away right now.
I do have a pressurized CO2 line that I can pop on this tank if needed but I'm going to try without it first...
Then the plants came...
Everything was removed from pots, separated, cleaned, and submerged in a bucket for a few hours to remove pests. Roots were trimmed to ~1-1.5 inches. While the plants soak a little its time to do some math.
Using the golden principle I measured out and marked with tape the water level and the "focal point". Its not as though I used it though, things are just thrown in there right now.
And then I played with some rocks that were used in my old 20 long...
Time to get to planting. I took it slow and tried to do the best I could considering I hadn't planted using these small planter boxes before, turns out it wasn't difficult at all. I think the main thing was to get the base of the cup filled, insert plant with roots trimmed, and then backfill using the topper (in this case aquasoil). I generally placed the plants lower in the cup than they should be and once I had the topsoil in I'd gently pull the plant up while wiggling to let the soil settle around it. Seemed to work well enough.
Base of hydroton
layer of planted substrate
layer of mineralized soil
Some mondo grass going in
Then I topped off the planters with aquasoil.
It took a little while but they are all ready
I know the dracaena's aren't well suited to marginal setups and prefer to dry out between waterings so they are pretty much just to see what happens. I did place their planter cups about an inch higher out of the water to see how they fare.
Popped everything in the tank
and a final shot showing the "sun" above.
Hopefully it'll start shaping up in the next few days as the plants settle in but thats all I have in me for today. I'm sure the planter cups are going to move around a bit since I just chucked them in there for the night.
Tomorrow I need to go through a few tanks and pick out a few baby crypts (petchii+gecko) and some dwarf sag for the underwater portion. Once I get those planted I'll be adding a layer of fine polished stones over the sand.
Haven't decided on a background color just yet... considering trying something really bright.
'Til next time.