Hi all, what a great forum here!
A bit about me, normally i keep axolotls, fresh coldwater critters with no planting whatsoever, however recently i've setup 2 shrimp tanks, 1 a 200 litre for crystal reds, and the other a 60 litre, which is my experimentation lab, and will be my first planted.
This particular tank did have some lightin (15 watt tropical) and i was growing mosses well, the shrimps bred like mad, but now i want something nicer.
This setup is a budget setup, everything is either free, DIY or cheap.
So the setup:
- 1 x Elite 60 litre tank and stand (paid £20)
- 1 x lighting unit (150 watt metal halide, 2 x 15 watt tropical arcadia, suspended 30 cm from water surface) (paid £23)
- 1 x cheapo compressed co2 system with vertical diffuser (paid £20)
- air pump with sponge filter (paid £20)
- cheap heater (free)
- Oliver Knott Active substrate (similar to ADA ammazonia II) at a depth of 1" with sand underneath. (probably £30 worth)
- 1 large rock which I've managed to get a flattened marimo moss ball to carper on the surface of like a cliff. (free)
- 1 large 5" marimo moss ball (have been growing for an age)
- 30 (approx red cherry test subjects) (cheap - £15)
I've recently started planting some hair grass at the back, i plan to use HC cuba at the front but wanted to get expert opinions on what else i may need to avoid wasting money as i suspect i may need to do some buffering and improve my co2 system.
What i really need help with is lighting, as you can see i have a fair amount available, but rarely see guides about metal halide. I paid £23 for the unit including bulbs so seemed like a good deal, even if just the t8's were used, but i do like the intensity of the mh.
My measurements are:
gh - 5
ph - 6.8
ammonia - 0
From what i understand i need my KH to be higher at 4 so i can use more co2 and drop ph further. However this Co2 diffuser is one where you fill up the chambers and leave it, so can't give it any more forcefully so am planning a DIY reactor build.
What should I dose?
and how long / what configuration should i leave lights on for good growth?
Many thanks for any newbie help you can offer. Will get some more pics up soon.