25 Gallon Fantasy
Hereís what Iíve gotÖ
This week I scored a 25 Ďtallí SeaClear acrylic aquarium (black background) with Eclipse hood (2 bulbs) plus about $100 worth of supplies for $60 through a craigslist.org ad. The tank was pretty badly scratched, but a couple hours of hand rubbing with Novus #3 and #2 polish ($8) and the thing is practically good as new, especially with water in it. (I was actually really shocked by how great this stuff worked and went back to Tap Plastic today to thank them. They were grateful for the feedback, as they had been selling it only on the manufacturerís marketing claims until today.)
While I was out and about I also picked up 50 pounds of really lovely silica sand from a local hot tub and swimming pool shop here in Seattle for $12.95 (my other tanks all have Fluorite). Iíve read that filter pack can vary by area--some ugly, some nice. This stuff is from up north in British Columbia and has a soothing tan-brown color. I can post pictures or scans if anyone is curious to see this stuff up close.
The partial planÖ
Weíre a TV-free household, so this tank will be a focal point in our living room.
Iím planning some basic modifications to the filter (replacing the carbon and blue media stuff with a Fluval 204/304 sponge, which I purchased today, and adding a turbulence-minimizing return tube) but Iíd like to avoid jacking up the light, at least for now. Since this thing only puts out 30W stock, Iím just barely going to be north of 1W/Gallon.
My questions and concernsÖ
Iíd love to get input from yíall on how you might approach making this into a peaceful planted community aquarium.
Iím considering low light (obviously!) plants such as Anubias, Crypts, Java Fern, African Bolbotis, etc.
Can you recommend other plants that can thrive in such low light?
I have a Nutrafin yeast CO2 setup with ladder diffuser that Iím thinking about adding to this tank. I read a fascinating 4-part article at tropica.com that leads me to believe that itís actually beneficial to add CO2 in the absence of Ďbrightí light. This seems to run contrary to the popular view that you donít need to inject CO2 until you are over 2.5W/Gallon. Thoughts?
Basically, imagine that someone just dropped this tank in your lap, told you that adding more light was not an option, and invited you to make the very most of it. What would you do?
I welcome all input, and I donít plan to purchase any flora until my plan is fully formed, so this is your chance to shape the look of my living room! (If I take your advice, you are automatically invited over for beer, wine and general revelry and, of course, planted tank talk.)
Iíll post pictures as this thing evolves.