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Hey guys, just thought I'd post up here and start a journal as I've learned a lot from other people by reading through these forums. I originally wanted to start a bit smaller, but as with most of my hobbies, it quickly grew larger than I had intended.

This is the first aquarium I've had since I was a child, and I'm pretty excited. I started out wanting something in the 5 gallon range like the fluval spec v, and then I heard about ADA and I was really intrigued by the Iwugami scapes, and started looking at the 60F because I really liked the long low aspect ratio. After that I saw the 12 gallon long by Mr. Aqua, and It was even better, followed quickly by the 22 gallon long, which is probably about a big a commitment I was willing to start with. All of this research happened over a couple week period, and when I looked on marinedepot, they only had 1 left of the 22 gallon long, and all the other Mr. Aqua stuff was discontinued, I pulled the trigger and figured I'd work out the rest as it arrived.

It took about 5 days to arrive and I brought it inside and opened it up...



Busted! I was a little bummed out thinking it was a sign that I should start with something smaller, but I was committed. I reached out to marinedepot, and for a few extra bucks, I ended up getting the aquamaxx 22 long which they shipped to my front door less than 24 hours later. I was super impressed by their customer service, and immediately did a water test to make sure everything was good.



I then started working on the stand. I'm not great with this stuff, so I built a simple cabinet. I was originally going to paint it white, but that proved to be too time consuming, so I decided to just use some formica.




I also decided to build a "canopy", but it's really more of a floating shelf just to keep the cats from getting in. I realized it's hard to have cats and nice things without some precautions.



Last night I worked on the hardscape a bit, and put it all together for the first time! This is when I got really excited. (sorry for the poor phone color)



And finally today I stopped by the LFS on my way home to pick up some in vitro plants to do a DSM. Right now I'm sticking with HC in the front, UG in the back right, and some Cryptocoryne wendtii Kompakt in the back. I'd like to do some taller plants, but I may wait a bit.





And the current FTS as of 4/26/2016



Equipment:
AquaMaxx 22 Long
36" Finnex Planted 24/7
Eheim Classic 250
GLA Gro Co2 (on the way)

Hardscape:
ADA Aquasoil Amazonia
Stones from manzanita driftwood (seiryu-ish?)

Flora:
UG
HC
Cryptocoryne Kompact

Fauna:
TBD but I'm thinking lots of shrimp to start, followed by some tiny rasboras, chili or something that size, and maybe a dwarf gourami.

Please let me know if you have any hints/tips or tricks. I'm not much of a botanist, but I figured if I follow the rules and what people have done before me, I shouldn't have too much trouble. Right now I'm just anxious not to kill the plants I picked up :)
 

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Looking great! I saw that you are considering chilis for fauna... sounds great! I in a 22 gallon you could have well over 30 without adding to much to the bioload. I currently have eight in a 3 gallon iwagumi, and they produce very little waste, you just have to make sure not to over feed. These are some of my all time favorite fish. I also saw that you are considering dwarf gouramis. Sounds great, but another option would be the honey gourami. They stay a little smaller (honeys stay 2 in.) which would help magnify your scape. They are also the least aggressive of the gouramis, which is nice. Good luck!

Bump: Also, what plants do you intend to put in the back left corner? Something red would look really nice.
 
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