I started up my tank in Aug of '07 and nothing quite went how I wanted it to. All the time I spent reading, I felt was vain. My mother/ her boyfriend being a major part of this. They rushed the process and caused me a great deal of stress, so much I resent what I have left of it. And occasionally I want to give up. I can't be too disheartened because he paid for it all, though it is my time that keeps it alive.
At the moment:
- 96 watts of 6500k over 46 gal.
- diy co2
- eco complete
- no fertilization apart from fish
- emperor 400 (That is two biowheel HOB, running no carbon, have quilt batting in it's place.)
- 2 white skirt tetras (That my mother bought dyed, which I don't even want to think about. All I need say is I was extremely unhappy, there for the purchase, and educated them beforehand of dyed fish.)
- 1 diamond tetra
- 9 albino corydoras aeneus
- 9 otocinclus
And some random plants from petco.
(Also another big sore as I didn't pick them though it was supposed to be my tank... I was upset at this point and not talking. 3/4 of the bought plants were not aquatic, which this board confirmed.)
As I don't test, I'm not sure the parameters of my water, but I have been doing 7- 10 gal water changes weekly, switching to 50 % weekly with well water that goes through a water softener.
Here is a poor, full shot of my tank. As for that plant on the far right end, it's a walmart bulb surprise and seems to put out a new leaf every several days for every one that browns.
And a little older video. Didn't mean to chase my tetras around at the end. : (
So, I'm not happy with what I have so far. I have a few concerns.
The DIY co2 and the biowheel filter
sort of negate each other. I have seen improvement in growth since starting Diy co2.
I have 2 wpg of light on a 46 gal. Should I upgrade my co2 to pressurized in the future? Or would it make more sense to upgrade lighting?
I need to fertilize, yes. I will dose according to the 20-40 gal plan in the sticky under the sub forum "Parameters". Is this acceptable?
In my opinion, I think the tetras need more room because they seem high energy at times. I'm interested in maybe replacing them with some ghost glass cats, but I would need a larger group. My question being If after attaining more plant mass, rid of the tetras, and maybe cut down on the number of corys, will my tank be a fine environment for a shoal of ghost glass cats?
Personally I like the Julii corys better than the ones I have now. But Pangio Kuhli catch my eye. Just some suggestions on this, of course influenced by the question above.
And after purhcasing the otos, leftover diatoms disappearing, my back wall and two older stems are sprinkled over in the black/ red/ brown alage that grows along the edges in tufts. This is BBA I assume. The co2 questions above might answer this issue I read. However, would it be wise to think of an SAE? I like the ghost glass cat idea, and don't think they would appreciate him, plant mass or not to hide in. As well, would some nerites do me any good?
So, my final question is: What needs to be done first and foremost? Then in what order must the following steps be taken?
I'm at a complete loss as to what to do now and I would sincerely appreciate some advice, critique, suggestions, and maybe even some encouragement if I do so deserve. : )