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My first successful planted tank is a tank I took from my neighbor's curb and a trip to Petsmart (just to get some fish food for a sunfish I caught in a local stream) got me hooked onto plants. Who the heck knows plants grow underwater? Getting Rotala rotundifolia to not only grow but flourished under regular lighting, no CO2, no fertilizers and regular black/white/red gravel was extremely satisfying and it remains my most beloved plant to this day. Sentiments. *sheds a tear*

But my first proper planted tank was a high light, pressurized CO2, EI tank. At this time in the USA hobby was all about light light light, CO2 CO2 CO2, jam it all in, grow the ^&%$ out of everything. I was on a high. EI level dosing wasn't enough and I just kept adding more more more more. This plant. That plant. I wanted to grow everything. Walking along the street and saw a plant. BAM! In the tank you go. Eating in a restaurant. This herb looks aquatic. DUNK! Grow or drown you piece of cr*p! Always wanted a proper competition level tank, with a proper hardscape...but dang it, instead of that rock, I could grow a new plant I haven't grown before. Oh good lord, next thing I know, it's a jungle, hodgepodge of cr*p collected from the wild, wherever and whomever was willing to trade. Experts were having heated high-level debates, local plant expeditions/discovery were happening left and right. And it feels like everyone could join in the discussion, discovering new plants, trying to translate the Asian websites whose market is years ahead of ours (I swear they have all the coolest plants and the newest fish.), talk sh*t about Aquasoil, etc. It was glorious. The collectoritis tank wasn't pretty but I didn't care. The adrenaline was pumping.

These days though. I favor the medium light, restrained, slow-burning, species-deliberate tank that looks good year in and year out without much interference from me. You should see my collection of mega-size tools just so I don't have to ever stick my hand in the tank. You'd think I run a game animal processing facility of some sort. It puts the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again. :grin2: Aesthetic is king! Collectoritis, no thanks. Okay, maybe a little bit. That's why we have more than 1 tanks. Hehehehehehehe.

What were we talking about? Got sidetracked. So yeah, uber high light, perverted version of EI, weekly >80-90% tap water changes. Never touched a single test kit. Just assumed my water is 0 everything (and surprisingly it is, I live in a large metropolitan area and got good water for some reason *knocks on wood*).
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