I made the unfortunate mistake of dropping in on AFA one day while walking along Fillmore in SF. A couple hundred bucks and countless hours of prune-y hands later, behold ... The Blue Steel (if you take this hobby too seriously you'll go crazy).
Substrate: Amazonia II base with a layer of Amazonia powder
CO2: the wildly overpriced ADA CO2 Advance System
Lighting: Archaea 27W 10000K.
Filtration: Eheim Ecco 2232
Hardscape: Chinese zebra rock. Haven't seen many tanks with this type of rock, and I think I know why. This stuff is an algae magnet. The white part of the stone is really porous and must take to algae spores really well.
Flora: a willy nilly collection of narrow fern, anubias barteri, HC, micro crypt, and rotala sp. pearl.
Fauna: 6 amanos (no names. too difficult to differentiate), 1 zebra nerite (Linas), and 1 mts (too itinerant to bother naming).
Ferts: the Estimative Index. "Estimative" being the operative word.
Couple shrimpies on view:
Alas, The Blue Steel is at about 4 months old and a few drastic alterations in (new filter, drastic rescape, reestablishing of bacteria for semi-embarrassing reasons), and while the algae is ...ahem... manageable right now, the tank requires a fair amount of vigilance. The amanos help, but I ask too much of them. It's getting better and I can only hope that I'm on the right track, but please tell me that this gets easier. I fear that I'm scrimping on the CO2 (those little ADA tanks, while attractive, are expensive. I keep it at about 1 bps), but I'm hopeful that The Blue Steel is simply finding it's center.