Hello again everyone. I know I disappeared, againÖ Iíve read the suggested readings that some very generous people posted in my threads. Thank you all for your advice, Iím sorry I didnít take this seriously years ago.
I had been very unsatisfied with my tank and my choices in the past, and had lost motivation to do much more than maintenance. I got my nitrates down to about 10 ppm. I had to move the fish tank, and I was very unsure of whether or not to even try again. My Three-Spot, Yoyo, and Kuhli are in a 10 gallon with 50% water changes every day. But I really do love planted tanks and I know I can do it if I just have a little more discipline and make the right preparations. The tank is now in a much better location: easy to access from three sides, no chance of direct sunlight, and much closer to the sink.
I decided to strip the tank and truly start over. I had some reservations about whether or not to start from scratch and cycle again, but given all the bad memories and disasters I've had in the past 3 years, I don't want any contaminate trace of the old tank. I scrubbed all the algae off the walls and vacuumed that out. I then wiped every surface with vinegar and rinsed and vacuumed that out several times. The filter, heater, and hoods were also washed with vinegar. I boiled all of the sand and rinsed it thoroughly. Anything I can improve upon before cycling?
I am hoping to purchase a canister filter to replace my Penguin 350. Iíve heard very good things about the Eheim Classic, but was really hoping for something under $100. How about a Cascade?
And, when I start the cycle, will the driftwood really be enough to stabilize the pH? The hardness in this area is reported to be only between 2 and 3 points. I am going to order general hardness, carbonate hardness, and TDS test kits when I order my filter to be sure of this.
I know you'll need an idea of the stock I'm thinking of to make suggestions. While it's not completely up in the air, it is between three ambitious setups:
(5 or 6) Discus and tetras and corydoras.
Unknown number of Angels and an undetermined set of tank mates.
Mixed Gouramis. (I am well aware of their aggression. I have a plan for minimizing this if I decide on this setup.)
I imagine the stocking on these will be considered heavy. I plan on 50% water changes every week, more if the nitrate tests indicate it.
Plants and lighting are another matter, which I will leave until after I order my filter. I am still deciding on which EI fertilizers to buy, can anyone give an opinion on NilocG's liquid ferts? Either those or the array of Seachem products. I know I'll need to buy Excel anyway unless I my fish will produce enough, or if I get a CO2 injector.
Well, I think that's enough for an introductory post. Thank you for reading!