After many months with my planted 84g, I thought it would be fun to take on a new challenge. I bought a 25cm cube and 13 watt 225 LED light array from Tom Barr before the Holidays and finally got around to setting it up about a month ago.
The biggest delay in getting started was finding rocks to work with. Given the small size of the aqaurium, I didn't want to order by mail, so it took months to find some small rocks with enough character to work with.
More challenging than finding rocks was arranging them. Should have expected that, but the tank sat in my basement for weeks with occassional re-orgs of the rocks before I decided on a layout. It was fun, but tempting to keep going out and buying more rocks. Could have gone on forever.
For Substrate I decided on AS. Always wanted to try it, so in it went. True to expectations, water softened, PH fell, Ammonia spiked.
I bought a Glosso and HC mat from sellers on SnS. They went in as part of the initial setup. Getting them planted was a pain. I'd hoped mats could be laid down like sod, but I obviously had that wrong. It floated, fell apart, roots curled under. Seemed harder in the end. I wound up breaking the glosso up and planting individually. There was also a dwarf grass of some kind embedded in the glosso so I used that as well.
After a few weeks, ammonia settled down and I bought a batch of CRS from SnS. I know, RCS are easier, but damn the torpedoes...
So config is:
- 25cm cube
- 225 LED, 13 watt array
- AS substrate
- Aquaclear 20 filter
- Carbon via Excel
Here are some pics of the setup in the beginning.
In these pics you can see the impact of the LED color.
So this is the tank as it was on day one. There have been changes, more in my update.