Been lurking on here for quite some time, but I'm finally starting up an upgrade tank from my 10 gallon "planted" tank to a 15H heavily planted tank. I'll post some setup photos as soon as I figure out photobucket or some other file dump site. I'm setting this tank up as an experiment tank before I set up my Oceanic 30G cube tank. Will probably use a lot of the same equipment for that tank, so this is kind of a "wet run." I'm posting some notes for now, with updates hopefully to follow throughout. Any comments would be welcome, but I'll be honest and say I'm stubborn and will probably have to learn by error mostly. I know the lighting is a bit much for only 15 gallons, but with the 18" high tank, I'm going to lose a lot of light on the way down, so I've overdone it a bit. Enjoy....
AGA 15H (20 x 10 x 18)
Base Layer (apprx 1in):
55oz First Layer (c) Laterite (apprx 50%)
5lb Estes Bits of Walnut (c) Gravel (apprx 50%)
Top Layer (apprx 2in):
20lb Estes Bits of Walnut (c) Gravel (100%)
All Estes gravel approximately 1mm - 3mm in diameter
AH Supply 2 x 36W Bright Kit w/ 20" Finished Enclosure
Marineland Penguin (c) 150B HOB Power Filter w/ Bio-Wheel
Jager 50W Heater
Penn-Plax Therma-Temp (c) 'Digital' Thermometer
Whisper 10 Air Pump w/ Airstone (Run at Night)
None of the laterite or gravel was washed prior to filling and mixing. Water dumped in right after gravel setup. Water immediately clouded, so bad you couldn't see an inch into the tank (photo taken with water partially full and clouded). Let settle for a day, then topped off water and started Penguin 150 running with a handful of polyester pillow stuffing from Wal Mart loaded instead of a filter cartridge. After one hour, another photo was taken, and the floss was changed. At this point, the water was already fairly clear. Man, that impeller is loud at first! Will it quiet down? I seem to remember my last power filter doing the same thing....
Some Notes on Ferts, Livestock, etc.:
Planning to dose with Flourish Excel, Potassium, Trace, and eventually Iron. As I said before, this tank is a bit of a trial run, so I'm experimenting with readily available nutrient packages. Hopefully the livestock will be supplying all the nitrate I'll need.
With that in mind, I'll be slightly overstocking. Planned flora and fauna below. I'll also be running the bio-wheel (nitrate factory), just for kicks.
Microsorium pteropus (Java Fern)
Vesicularia dubyana (Java Moss)
Not sure about stocking numbers yet. Tank will be fully planted before anything moving goes in, which should help with the cycle. Starting with 10 Cherry Shrimp. Will be adding 2-3 Ottos and 3 Cherry Barbs over the next few weeks. Then maybe 3 Corys, then maybe a few more Cherry Barbs.
Sorry this is a bit disorganized, but i've been doing a lot of planning, and now that it's coming together I realize that I've got a lot more to post than I thought. If anybody's got advice on photobucket or the like, let me know. I'll be trolling for info on it tomorrow at lunch break. Peace....