Hi all, glad to have found this site. Looks like a great group, been reading up on threads, lots of books and trying to get ideas
I wanted to post my idea for a new tank setup and as I am using Diana Walstad's book (had it for 5 years now) as a guide, I have done some planted tanks in past, but this time i want to do it right.
I have been caring for freshwater - cichlids mainly for 10 years, dabbled in planted aquaria but never successfully long term.
I have kept saltwater aquaria for 6 years now, growing corals and such, but would really love to add a nice planted aquarium to my fish room.
I have a 20gallon biocube. Here is my plan for it.
I plan to place a seedling warm mat under the tank.
1/2" sand, 1" topsoil (plan on getting from store), crushed seashells for buffering capacity,1/2-1" fine-medium gravel on top.
My plan is for a variety of plants to start with to start tank up, depending on what is available locally. My hope is valasaria (?sp), columba in back and substrate a little deeper in back for depth, ludwigia, echinod. in midground and some small ground cover in front.
If readings are ok, will put in fish - plan is simple - tetras, perhaps a corydora cat., dwarf gourami; ultimately some shrimp/snails. (still researching small fish as choices)
the tank will not be in direct sunlight but has 2x24w t5's which should be adequate for moderate -bright light requiring, as this was adequate for high light requiring corals.
temp will be maintained 74-78
I plan to use ro/di water (readings: tds = 0, pH = 7.0, gH = <20mg/L, KH = <10mg/L ) and buffer as tap water is pH 7.9, tds = 25-80 depending on day, gH = 60mg/L, KH = 50mg/L
I figure will be easier to buffer than worrying about treating water while adding, and i wont have to worry about contaminants in tap water
the biocube has a small sponge for biofiltration - but the main plan is to use the pump and overflow for water movement - i was never satisfied with the movement for corals, but it is good for planted tanks i think ~600-800 gph.
I would love to hear constructive criticism and advice for plant /fish choices. (i would rather get locally than order and i have 2 good lfs' with nice healthy plants and fish) so depends on what is available.
thanks . Plan is to go tomorrow to get the stuff and plants and start setup. I will post pics as i go.