I am new to the planted aquarium hobby. I have always liked fish and had a freshwater tank as a kid. Elapse 30 years, and my wife actually suggested that getting a fish tank for the kids might be a good idea. I think she was thinking a small fish tank for something like a betta fish or gold fish, but I took my opening and ran with it. so here it goes. (pics are attached)
Fluval Spec V with mods. Electrical tape covering lower back up intake. Cut holes in the pump outflow tube, metal mesh over the overflow, took out carbon and have 2 biomax bags in filter
Cobalt Neo Therm 25W heater in filter compartment
CO2 - Tippman 20 oz and Aquatek mini CO2. CO2 at 1 bubble/1.5 sec starts 1 hr before lights on and off 1 hr before lights off. Currently 3 hrs light/CO2 in AM and 4.5 hrs of light/CO2 PM (total light cycle 7.5 hrs). It coordinates when my kids are home and I like to look at it at night.
Manzanita wood (ebay)
Seiryu Rock (ebay)
Amazon Swords (Petco from tank)
Mini Dwarf Hairgrass (Petsmart/Top Fin cultured)
Crypt Wendtii (local fish store from a tank)
Anubias petite (LFS from a tank)
S Repens (Petsmart/Cultured)
Plant: considering placing Blyxa Japnoica in the central portion as a midground plant
Fish: 5-6 Celestial Pearl Danios
Cherry Red Shrimp when tank is more established
On day 29 of a fish-less cycle. I initially tried API quick start and dosed ammonia to 2ppm and it stayed there for 2 weeks and added the dwarf hair grass and s repens the first week. Eventually, I dumped a bottle of Tetra Safe Start and finally got the cycle going. Tests have been at 0 ammonia (dosing 2 ppm everyday), nitrite 2.0 and Nitrates 30-40. I did a 80% water change last week and planted the crypt and anubias at that time. I’ve been having some minor green hair algae and the rocks that I scrub off when I see it. Also been battling the white fungus on the drift wood that comes back soon after I scrub it off. I might leave it alone since I read that it usually decreases as the tank gets more established. Since I added the plants (Crypt and Anubias) last weekend from the LFS, I noticed 15-30 small white worms (~1-2mm long) on the glass that I am pretty sure are detritus worms. They are very small and I also see them floating around in the water column so I am pretty sure they are not planaria. They probably hitchhiked on the plants from the LFS because I did not see them at all before that. I am not currently feeding the tank anything but ammonia and ferts for the plants.
I plan on doing another water change this weekend and hope to get my hands on some blyxa japonica to put in the central part of the tank in the midground. I am hopeful the water change will help suction out some of the worms and any of the detritus from plant melting that may be feeding them. Overall, I think the plants are doing well. I’ve trimmed my hair grass 2x already and noticed pearling for the first time on my Anubias and Crypt yesterday.
My current questions are:
1) Should I be worried about the worms? I don’t have any fish in their right now, so I could nuke the worms with meds before adding fish if needed. Otherwise, I was thinking the CPDs might actually eat them as well.
2) I was also considering getting rid of the hair grass near the filter compartment on the left and replacing it Monte Carlo just to mix it up and I also like the look of it. Any concerns with the Monte Carlo growing in the tank with the stock light?
3) There are 2 rocks on the right leaning against each other creating a little cave. I have a little concern that there isn’t that much flow going through there and may cause a problem. Would you recommend me repositioning them and not having a cave? I also have concern that any shy shrimp/fish may hide in there all the time and wouldn’t be seen.
Any other suggestions are welcome. Thank you in advance!
Pictures are attached below. Since my kids requested a Nemo and Dory, my wife did make me buy the decorations and place them in the tank whenever the kids ask for it. I take them out whenever I can.