Long post ahead warning....
I've kept fish for years, run of the mill 55 community tank with pretty colored gravel and fake plants. I always thought the planted tanks I'd seen looked so much better. My interest in having a planted tank led me here and the more I read I thought why not give it go. I didn't want to tear down my 55 and start over and I've always wanted a bigger tank so.... I browsed my local Craigslist and $250 later I hauled home a 100 g Clear For Life acrylic Uniquarium, stand, canopy, light hood, 1 year old Fluval 406, 2 broken heaters and 3/4 of a bottle of Prime. Not the steal of the century but I think I did OK. Here's the tank in my garage, lots of mineral deposits and dried sludge. Excuse the messy garage.
Cleaned the tank with vinegar/water and a micro-cloth. The mineral deposits and sludge were gone but it looked like the previous owner must have tipped the tank on its front to dump out the substrate, it was covered in scratches, inside and out. Notice that nice deep nick on the corner.
After watching YT vids of other people polishing up acrylic tanks I thought that doesn't look to difficult. So I procured some Novus polish and a large Flitz buffing ball, broke out my drill and got to work. Took my time and 4 hours later here's how it turned out. The Novus heavy scratch polish wouldn't quite get out the deep nicks and scratches so I used some polish from a headlight repair kit, it was much grittier. That did the trick.
The tank in its new place. I know, risky location with those hardwood floors but no other options.
Filled it up this past week, being a beginner with plants I'm going low tech. Tank is cycling, so far, so good.
Substrate: Eco Complete (sprinkled a little Osmocote + on the bottom first)
Plants: Anubias and Java Fern and two unknowns at each end. Slim pickings at the LFS.
Light: 10K 60" LED - Being returned, to bright, to blue, spotlighting. Dimmable 6500K LED arriving on Monday.
Now for the questions. This tank has what I believe was a trickle filter in the rear(see first pic). The previous owners didn't have any the parts for it, they just used a Fluval 406. Currently I have the intake from the 406 in the right side rear chamber. I like how you don't see any tubes visible inside the tank but will this work OK? Is it necessary or beneficial to have the intake inside the tank section? Is a single 406 enough? It's rated for a 100G.
The 406 doesn't produce much flow going thru the double nozzle inside the tank. I have an extra 306 but there is no place to run the the tubing inside the tank without running hoses across the top and going thru the cutouts in the center. The tubes could be secured to the back with suction cups. Or... I could place the 306 intake in another chamber in the back use a Y fitting to run the outputs from both the 306 and 406 thru the one nozzle. Any advice one way or the other?
Or should I investigate how to get the trickle filter working like it was originally? Or just get one filter large enough to do the job .... sounds $$$$
Any critiques, advice and pointers would be much appreciated. I know I'll have some questions as things move forward and hopefully not backwards.....