I had a 5 gallon fluval edge that I finally was able to sell to make counter space for the new project. I had to take a lost, but the wife was like " you have to lose one or the other" Sorry Fluval you lost and Mr. Aqua is the new tenant.
Here it is outside of the box on my bench.
Here's what I had in mind for a design. I want to do an Iwagumi style tank with T5HO lights, seiryu stones, CO2, perhaps some DIY Lilly pipes, riccia carpet, and some pennywort to balance the middle.
I found the stones from Midway and am ordering the other items online.
I am most likely keeping some kind of blue or red shrimp to speckle the substrate with color. Perhaps some royal blues from Speedie when he gets them =).
The tank has a home. I found a good spot on my kitchen counter.
Time for the seasonings and new Amazonia:
I dumped an entire bag into it.
Time for the stones: This is my initial design. I wanted to stay as close to it as possible.
And this is the 1st attempt with the stones in the tank. I noticed that I was a few stones short and the right side seemed a bit too overpowered by the left grouping. So I pulled a non Seiryu stone to temporarily fill the gap. However it kinda sticks out like a sore thumb.
This is the redo with the temporary stone to the right.
I definitely want a more consistent look so I went out and bought 3 more stones. It works out to be about $55 in stones from the local LFS.
I did a ton of research for a light that had great ratings and didnt break the bank. I wanted a T5HO, and about 36" long to fit the tank's length. Coralife is a well known brand but I read that the lights have some bad batches of ballast that go dead about 6 months into their use. Aquaticlife works great but is pricey and kinda bulky.
I found this odyssea dual bulb fixture 39W on amazon that was priced right about $60 bucks. It has a sleek design and great ratings.
These Mr. Aqua 12GL's are not quite 36" but the lights were, so I had to figure out a way to make it work.
Out of the box this is what it looks like. It's sits way too low to the tank, however the legs are removable and you can bend the metal rods as needed. I made a couple of bare handed 90 ish bends in the legs and was able to raise it up to a much better height.
I really do not like the blue bulb. I'm thinking about replacing it with another T5 bulb. It's not as blue in person but on camera it looks twice as bad.
Update: Today I replaced the actinic blub with a 6700 T5 bulb and it makes the tank look so much better. I've also started a dry soak.
I was also going to put some pennyworts in there, but found these pennywort like plants clumped and carpeting a piece of my backyard. I thought they looked pretty so I dug some up rinsed them and planted them in.
Can anyone identify it. I highly doubt they are aquatics plants and I suspect once I do a fill that they would completely rot.
So I've been waiting for my pennywort bought off of fleabay but it hasnt shown up. Probably lost in the mail. So i've ordered some off another site to make sure I get some in.
I've added a few things to the tank while I'm waiting though. I bought some cabomba and added it to the right side as a background plant. I like how these look and wanted to mimic a bamboo forest in the back ground. I still have some of the pony's foot found in the backyard in the tank. As you can see they are beginning to melt. I have added a few brazillian pennywort that were shipped free from some shrimps I bought a while back there were only a couple of leaves but they've begun to spread out a bit. These guys are up against the rock.
I also bought a bunch of riccia and spent a couple hours meshing them to little rocks. I'll use these as a border to fence in the HC once they arrive. I have some homemade CO2 in there at the moment and highlight these things are pearling a ton.