First high tech attempt:
Iím just now getting back into aquariums after a 4 year unintended break. Iím starting a high tech planted tank. This is my first attempt at high tech. Iíve only done low light Java fern and some swords before in my South American cichlid tank. I donít have that tank any more so Iím starting out in a 20 gallon long.
Right now I have a DIY CO2 setup and a Coralife dual T5 NO lamp on the tank. I just bought a used CO2 regulator set up: Victor HPT 272 dual stage regulator, Burkert solenoid, Ideal 52-1-12 needle valve and JBJ style bubble counter. For a light I also bought a used 24 inch Finex Fugeray. I know the light is short for the tank length, but it was a good price and I figured it was probably better than the Coralife and would hold me until I figured out if I need a longer fixture or not. I am dosing Flourish Excel and Flourish root tabs in the tank.
Itís been a while since Iíve gone to Petsmart. They used to have live plants in a set up with nice lighting. I went there last night to get some plants for my 20 long. When I asked where the plants are they pointed to a display and I was disappointed to see packaged plants. Half the shelf was empty. So I assume folks were buying it up as there wasnít that much left when I looked. Some of what was there was dead looking so I bought the nicest I could find. They have it there with terrarium plants so you need to read the label for fully aquatic. That said Iím pretty pleased. It looks like a nicer selection from what I remember them carrying. I bought some and just cleaned them up and planted this morning. I bought Anubias Bateri, Crpty Wendtti, Cryptocoryne undulate ďredĒ, Bacopa caroliniana, Pogostemon Helferi and some good old Java Fern, but this stuff is a thinner frillier leaf than what Iím used to seeing.
The light and regulator should arrive next week. I hope Iím on the right track, and am excited to learn. I am already thinking about doing a Iwagami style planted tank once I gain some confidence.