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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Quick evolution of someone getting back into the hobby after 10 years of absence.

I had a reef somewhere between, and it was a beautiful thing. Truly inspiring, and I'll probably do a 60 cube housing zoas/BTA with a pair of clowns when my toddler is older and in their own room.

I always seem to come back to heavily planted freshwater though. It’s just…more chill.


This tank:
24G Low Iron Glass Cube
2 Bags 7kg Seachem Fluorite Black
1 Bag 7kg Seachem Fluorite Black Sand
(If I went back in time I’d just do three sand bags)
Hydor 350 Canister
Hydor Hydroset Thermostat, Analog Display
Hydor ETH 300w Inline Heater
ReefBreeders Photon16 (Custom Spectrum)
(I started off with a 18” Current Satellite Plus Pro, which is pretty great but I didn’t like the coverage and it was either get an additional one or go all out.)

Glass/CO2
20lb CO2 tank
regulator is an AlanLe build. Dual stage with parker needle valves and a burkett solenoid
check valve, one all glass after the beetle and one swagelok right after the needle valve
spiral beetle bubble counter
glass “U”
generic glass diffuser

I guess the CO2 is around 1.5bps (No idea, I tune to my drop checker)
CO2 is left on 24/7, I only turn it off during heavy aquarium maintenance.

Jebao 4 head dosing pump -
KNO3
KH2PO4
K2SO4
Plantex CSM+B
MgSO4
On a modified PPS routine.

I also dose manually,
Sulfur
Manganese
Calcium Carbonate
Potassium Carbonate

Some of the plants….
Echinodorus bleheri
Cyptocoryne Walkeri
Echinodorus nuricatus
Ludwigia Repens
Echinodorus "Ozelot"
Hygrophilia angustifolia
Egeria Densa
Proserpinaca palustris 'Cuba' - Mermaid Weed
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis - Micro Sword
Hydrocotyle tripartita ‘Japan’
Hemianthus callitrichoides - Baby Tears
Blyxa japonica
Rotala macrandra mini
Glossostigma Elatinoides
Apon Crispus
Rotala green narrow leaf
Dwarf Water Lettuce
Duck Weed




I’m leaving SO much out. Feel free to ask anything or for pictures of anything.



Early, Oct 2015, just filled and planted.


The next day, starting to clear up.


Two weeks later.


A betta that made it about a month and just suddenly didn’t. Imported from Thailand. Interesting experience between finding the fish, the fish importer, and all that. He was beautiful, not sure I’d mess with importing more live fish.



Was totally baffled by this until I researched crypt melt, they all came back strong but was very concerning at the time.



End of Oct, ~3 weeks or so. This is where I get bit hard. Notice no CO2 lines…stock inflow/outflow….



A few hundred later….CO2 has been up for about a week in this photo mid Sept. Glass skimmer inflow/outflow, drop checker, etc. *sigh*



Now early Nov, ~2 weeks of high light and CO2 but no ferts, discover ferts… Does manually for a little while decide it is way WAY too much work…Husband: “Wife, I need a dosing pump.” Wife: “What is a dosing pump and why…and….*husband explains*” Wife: “You know what, I’m sorry asked if you need it…I Guess.”



Mid December, starting to dial in the dosing pump, only dosing PPS-Pro per recipe at this point. *Puts old reef cap on “I bloody need more light!”* I stop using the satellite + Pro and switch to a photon16. Spectrum sucks. Start trolling through all JeffK’s threads, order replacement LEDs from reef breeders and heavily modify all three light channels.



I start adding 10%DTPA on it’s own to .02ppm, misconfigure the dosing pump and it nukes all my shrimp and snails within a week. I try to suck out/remove as many dead inverts as I can. They were so abundant they caused a significant ammonia spike. Water changes every day, panic/wait. Every ram and all but one carbon rili die. Fish and plants don’t notice really. Ammonia is no longer detectible but there are still decomposing critters here and there under the carpet and stuff. Plants explode. I trim stems almost every other day.

Win some ROAKs and add to the plants in the tank….

Jan-Now
Lets skip forward to today. There was a lot of me ripping stuff out and playing musical plants during this time.
I now have pretty much lost count of what plants are in my tank between the RAOKs and trades locally.



Apon Crispus blooming.



Thank’s to all the helpful posters out there, truly appreciate the insight and tips you provide on the forums. This would have been a disaster without you.

Anyways, this was all a proof of concept. Time to scale it up and apply the knowledge gained to this…180G!

 
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