1 week update.
I set up a new tank (tank B) on Saturday, because it's all I could think about all week. I started a DIY CO2 setup for tank B. It's been running for a little over a day and seems to be running nicely, although the homemade sponge diffuser is quite crappy. Gotta find my airstones. I changed the substrate in B; ~1:1 mixture of peat/organic potting soil and a pool sand cap. I was really smart and didn't wash the sand first. I sewed together a java moss wall using plastic screen and 8 lb test fluorocarbon mono, plus some crappy suction cups. Didn't really research how to do it beforehand, so hopefully it will work well enough.
The first tank (tank A) is running along smoothly. The stem plants have all grown, and I think that the Lilaeopsis
have grown a bit, as well. I added some duckweed from a local pond, and a mossy rock from a stream that drains the same pond. I also added a caddislfy larva from the stream that quickly started to hyperventilate and is now missing. I apologized, but it's probably too late for us.
I bought a current USA freshwater LED to run both 5 gal tanks, but it was too short and had colours that I didn't really like. I ended up ordering a couple (1 for both 5 gals, and 1 for the 29 gal that I will plant this summer) of beamswork lights from the US, so they will get here this week. 2 lights shipped to Canada were only slightly more expensive than the one I bought in a local store, but with higher output and better intensities for the important spectra. A Finnex 24/7 planted + 30" is $275 on amazon.ca right now. Thanks, Canada!
Planted tanks have given me an excuse to crack open the limnology and plant physiology textbooks that have been taking up space on the shelf, which is a big plus. Anyway this is fun and a great way to spend my money, and my lady love is on board. In fact, she is excited about the prospect of a dwarf pea puffer in the future, once the tanks have filled in.