Its official, I hate fish tanks
My planted setup has been nothing but a PITA since day one!
First I get 2 bad bags of eco-complete. Eco-complete is supposed to be gravel, one bag I received looked like it had been pulverized into fine black, gritty sand and the other is a mi of gravel and sand. Fortunately the third was fine. My water was a black soup for about a week then it "settled". By "settled" I mean was water is still hazy after tons of water changes and running carbon. The fine dust just gets blown everywhere no matter how low the flow is on the filter.
Then after setting up the tank I realize the tank I have bought (29G from petco) has a small crack around the bracing of the tank. It doesn't look like it would pose problems but I don't want it there.
Buy a Jager heater since I have used them for years and swear by them, drop it and it cracks. My stupid fault.
Get my plants in the mail yesterday and (everything finally seems to be going well at this point) put them in the tank. Looks great. Turn on the light this morning and I have a wicked (and I mean horrible) snail infestation. I literally could not believe my eyes. I've seen tanks starting up with a snail problem, but this goes well beyond.
Set up my DIY c02. The bulkhead fittings are 100% air tight, the system looks great. Hook it up to the glass diffuser and nothing happens. The internal check valve in the diffuser is stuck, won't budge at all. There was no yeast build up blocking (used a gas separator on the DIY c02), it just won't budge.
Bought a handy dandy little $50 reactor to replace the diffuser and things finally start to look up. I hook it up last night and I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Wake up this morning to a back siphoned mess. It somehow backed siphoned and overflowed the gas separator. The paint on the wall behind the tank has been stained, the floor is all wet and now the area rug is stinking.
I've done this tank on an absolute shoe string budget, (I'm still in high school, minimum wage) and it has taken me about 7-8 months of saving up plus all my birthday money to do this tank. I couldn't get my money back for the diffuser or eco-complete, had to replace the heater, buy a new reactor, buy a new bulb for the CF fixture (I accidentally bought a 14K bulb) and couldn't return the other one, and now I'm going to probably have to replace $40 worth of plants.
Sorry about the rant but I'm so frustrated right now with this tank.