Greetings fellow aquarists!
I've very recently become absolutely taken by the aquascaping art/hobby. It greatly appeals to my design aesthetic and love of nature/animals.
This is my journey so far with 2 small tanks.
So I started by buying a Fluval Edge 6g tank and installing it in my bedroom, without doing a ton of research. I bought EVERYTHING at once, including 3 bright male guppies. It's been about a month of constantly messing with that tank, and they're still fine, so at least I didn't kill them.
I started that tank with white sand bottom and a plastic hollow log and one large hornwort plant for decor. Only other non-stock equipment was a small tropical heater.
Side note: Fish tanks make for GREAT cat TV (other cat owners agree?)
That lasted about a week, since I was still discovering more about planted aquascaping, I was no longer satisfied. I started by adding about 5 ghost shrimp. I found that they were always hiding in the log, and that was kinda boring. Then I added an enormous black mystery snail, and he was honestly the coolest thing to watch once he came out of his shell, so to speak.
I was about to discover how messy/involved it is to re-scape a tank. And just how many things I had yet to discover.
About 1 week or 2 after initial setup, I emptied out the aquarium and re-scaped it to this (kinda embarrassing). I also added 6 neon tetras.
Shortly after Christmas, I was still unhappy with it, and planning on doing something about the tank.
Currently it's sitting with a black sand/soil bottom and a piece of real driftwood (and the hornwort is still going). It's lonely, and ugly, and I'll do something with it soon. But at least the guppies and snail still seem fine.
Plants, ah yes. Unfortunately, I had absolutely no local aquatic plant dealers, and it's the middle of winter. So I took to the internet and discovered theplantguy.org. He would ship in winter, but not until early January.
I'm actually glad it took so long, since it allowed me more time to research everything I would need, and allowed me to consider my final setup.
At this point, I bought a new Marineland 10g Half Moon tank and installed it on my desk. I also bought a a nice piece of riverwood. Immediately I did some basic escaping, but I knew I would change it up when I got my plants. I was also debating CO2, lighting upgrades, etc. I found some (very expensive) plants locally (mostly anubias), and here is the original setup.
BIG jump ahead, I know. I didn't take process/design pictures the first time.
I knew right away the AWFUL light that came with this tank had to go, and I must have spent hours online looking for inexpensive upgrades. I found that most lights designed to sit on rimless glass aquariums won't fit a half-moon shape, so I ended up purchasing a clip lamp and chain from Home Depot, and installing a Philips 23W Daylight (6500K) bulb in it.
I'm STILL looking for feedback on if this is enough for my tank, since the tank it pretty deep, even though it's volume is low.
The stock in the new tank are 4 neon tetras (from the other tank, still not sure where the other 2 went) and --initially-- 9 glowlight tetras (now down to 6) and the 4 ghost shrimps.
It seems that some people find this too much, but I'm very good with my water changes, and I'd like to think the aquarium should eventually be able to sustain that no problem.
Once my online order was placed for plants, I started gathering everything I'd need for the final scape (yes, I tore it down AGAIN and started over yesterday).
The plants arrived yesterday, and it was also my day off, woot!
So here it is, my first ever nature aquarium (actually, pretty much my first non-beta in a bowl aquarium), DAY ONE
. The curved glass is SO much better in person, it's very hard to emulate in photographs. I tried.
It's still pretty cloudy, even as I'm posting this. I'm heading out to pick up some almond leaves at my local store in a bit.
My setup (oww my wallet):
- 10G Half Moon tall glass aquarium
- clip lamp hanging from ceiling with chain
- Philips 23W 6500K daylight CFL
- stock Whisper filter
- stock heater (kinda terrible and ugly, will probably replace eventually)
- Seachem Ammonia Alert
- ADA Amazonia (powder type) substrate (OMG my wallet, for dirt)
- Flourish tabs under major plants/groupings
- Riverwood (I cut it down with a table saw to better fit it in the tank)
- Anubias (several sizes, including petite)
- Lilaeopsis mauritiana (Micro sword)
- Echinodorus tenellus (Mini amazon sword)
- Isoetes lacustris (octopus plant, basically a freebie)
- Echinodorus martii major (Ruffled Amazon sword)
- Echinodorus bleheri (Amazon sword)
- Cryptocoryne wendtii
- one other plant I can't remember the name of
- 4 neon tetras
- 6 glowlight tetras
- 4 ghost shrimp
Current dosing (Please make suggestions!)
- Flourish Excel (1ml/day)
- Flourish (trace nutrients) (1ml 2/week)
- Flourish Potassium (1ml/day)
- Flourish Prime with new water
- also just thew in 2oz of Mainland Aquarium Bacteria on day 1 before adding fish
- weekly 50% water change (too much/not enough?)
PLANNING TO ADD
- Eheim 2213 filter
- glass lily pipes (already ordered on eBay)
- 10 Amano shrimp (already on the way from theshrimpfarm.ca)
- almond leaves (thinking of lightly tinting water for slight blackwater effect)
Really looking forward to getting rid of the crappy whisper filter. It takes up much needed space, leaks over the back of the tank occasionally and if just UGLY. I bugged my mom to get me an Eheim 2213 for my b-day next week, since my BF will kill me if I spend ANOTHER $150 on something for this tiny tank). Not only will the Eheim (with the clear glass lily pipes I ordered) look WAY better, they'll actually add effective water volume to the setup, yay! I've researched it pretty well, hoping the flow isn't ridiculous for my fauna.
I also don't plan on adding a CO2 system unless I come into some money sometime soon, so I'm sticking with Flourish Excel for now. I'd love to hear some tips for this.
SO, I'm looking for opinions, comments, suggestions and tips! Mostly regarding ferts, Excel, soon-to-arrive Amano shrimps, the addition of an Eheim 2213 filter (flow rate) and almond leaves in this setup.