Just started a couple days ago. I admit, I went into this quickly with only about a week of research and now with the tank running, I realize how much I don't know. I am going for a low-tech, simple setup for my dorm. I am not sure on future stocking, but am thinking cherry shrimp and some rasboras or killifish.
Tank: Standard 5.5 gal
Light: Cheap AGA hood with 13w 6500k cfl
Heater: 25w Hydor Theo - Temp 78F
Filter: Aquaclear 20
Substrate: ~1in Miracle Gro capped with Floramax
Anubia (of some sort)
Ludwigia (again, of some sort)
"Phoenix Fern" from Petco... Apparently not meant to be submerged?
So the tank is cycling and I have a few questions:
1) Will this hood be sufficient for low-med lighting? I'm considering replacing it with a desk lamp with the same bulb because it seems to be inefficient at light distribution. I do like the clean look of the hood, though, which keeps the landlord off my back.
2) I have a piece of mopani driftwood. I boiled it for about 3 hours, pouring off the water about every 20 minutes. The wood (maybe in addition to the substrate) is still leeching tannins quickly. I have read that Purigen is very effective in controlling this, but I'm thinking I should wait until after my cycle?
3) Should I pull out the fern?
4) My tank is full of what looks like microbubbles. They were there from the moment I set up the tank. In my filter I am running poly-fill, foam, and biomedia. Any way to cut down on this?
5) My current lighting cycle is 7:30-9:30am then 4:00-10:30pm. Will this schedule, with a long siesta, be detrimental to plant health?
6) Any random advice? If this was you tank, what would you do? Scaping, plant ideas, stocking, etc.
Low-Res Cell Phone Pics: