Hi! My name is Ariel and I'm new to planted tank. I love fish people and there arent very many in alpharetta georgia besides marine. Forgive me for the very long post! This turned out to be a novel, but I like to be thorough.
I had aquariums and plants all through middle school and high school thanks to an amazing hobby enabler mother, though they all were taken down when I went to college. Now its been five years with no tanks and after the recent passing of my gerbils from college, the empty 20 gallon long they had lived in wouldnt stop looking at me. This time around Im an adult and have more money and a car to run for supplies in, I want everything to be perfect ;P
So! On to the tank proofreading! This tank has been set up for two weeks, planted for one. I cycled it with bacteria supplement and pure ammonia and plants, currently Ive been bringing the ammonia up to around two or three ppm every day (measuring with the api master kit) and its back to zero the next day. So currently Im just feeding the tank until I stock it, the cycle seems complete.
My lighting comes from an aquaic life 36" t5ho fixture with a 10,000k and a 6700k bulb set about four or five inches above the water, totaling 60 watts (Im bad and the 6700k is only a t5, not t5ho, do you think this might fry the bulb or the t5ho fixture?)
My substrate is eco complete. Temp is constant at 75. Hob filter tetra whisper ex 45, modified the intake with a saw and some glue to turn it 90į and stretched it a bit to the right with extenders for (possibly) better circulation (and the intake was too long for my shallow 20L). Also Im using my own bagged filter media, consisting of a heavy floss pouch with ceramic rings inside, no carbon. There is also a topfin 30 powerhead because there was little water movement despite the filter being recommended for a tank twice. Its aimed at my foreground where debris was settling on the plants.
Ive got a co2 setup, I just need to go get the actual gas, which has proven to be a trick. Meanwhile Ive been using api's co2 booster. I have a very nice quiet adjustable airpump a marine lfs gave me for free, I might use it to increase aeration at night and in case of co2 emergencies. There is a big piece of spiderwood in the tank, a piece of mopani I boiled to remove most of the tannins, and zebra rock. The spiderwood (water azalea?) was too big to boil.
I went a bit plant crazy and bought a lot... So far Ive got lace java fern, crypts, dwarf pennywort, hairgrass, microsword, dwarf baby tears, anubias nana petite (LOVE THESE), pogostemon, riccia, a couple marimos, and a tad of java moss. Too many varieties artistically speaking, but when in rome...
Im looking at keeping a big mix of fun dwarf shrimp from aquabid, maybe five endlers livebearers, a couple nerite snails, and maybe ten or so celestial pearl danios, still debating if theres room or need for a couple ottos.
Heres where things get dicey... My water out of the tap has a 0 kh. Im not sure why, maybe its the eco compelete, but the water in the tank has been a consistent 4 kh since i got the test last week. The ph out of the tap is 7. The ph in my tank was above 8 last week, but has been keeping at between 7.4 and 7.6 the last few days, maybe because the cycle is more mature. I'd like to increase the hardness to about ten for the sake of the livestock, but I do not want to increase the ph anymore. Crushed coral in the filter? That would be easy enough for me to obtain, but wouldnt it also increase the ph?
I think thats everything... the plants have grown in just one week! I bought the riccia on a little mat (I plan on making a riccia rock after it grows out more) and what looked sparse and sad a week ago is green and bushy! It loves being right in the flow of the powerhead. I rescaped yesterday and everything had new white roots, the crypts had finally stopped melting and had new growth.
As for algae, theres the faintest bit on the glass that some hitchiker snails have eaten the faintest trails through. I still need to buy a mag float...
What do you think? See any problems? Im sure somebody probably knows something I dont :P
If you made it through this book of a post, thank you!
I dont know any fish people in real life! When i was a kid i lived by a big al's near fort lauderdale, and would hang out there whenever I could. Theres just a single marine store near me named pure reef (which is brilliant). I get test kits and things there.