Starting my first journal here, with my second tank ever and my first foray into the planted sector of freshwater aquaria. My goal with this is to be a relatively low-maintenance tank without sacrificing on the beauty.
- 75 Gallon Aqueon tank from LFS
- Black pine stand from LFS
- 2x API Fillstar XPL's
- Hydor 300W inline heater
- 48" Lithonia lighting shop light (running one bulb for low light according to the PAR charts)
- 8 bags of Eco Complete as substrate
- Anubias (nana, "petite", "coffeefolia")
- Crypts (wendtii, undulata, parva)
- Hygro (giant and compact)
- Java Fern
- Java Moss
- Italian Vals
- Nothing (yet)
- 5x Bolivian Ram (planned)
- ??x Cardinal Tetra (planned)
- ??x Rummynose Tetra (planned)
- 3-4x Bristlenose (planned)
- 6-12x Otocinclus (planned)
- ??x Corydoras (maybe?)
So, here we go! First, the pretty stuff.
The order arrives!
I bought them all online and was surprised at the quality I got. Will definitely do it again in the future should I need more plants.
Getting them in the tank (using RODI water for the tank and the system isn't yet set up at this point):
Filling it up:
All planted! lol
Getting ready to plant!
Bucket o' plants:
First planted plant!
The final product:
Closer to the wood. I'm hoping these Anubias attach... they are fairly loose.
Crypt. wendtii "red":
View from the back:
The whole set, if you're interested: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157631224930540/
Now, the update stuff.
Wood still wanted to float despite being soaked for several weeks, so I had to tie it to tupperware lids with fishing line and bury the lids in the gravel. Easy, effective, and inexpensive. And non-permanent, which is a plus.
Just got the filters and the heater running (@ ~79F) yesterday. Media is set up as follows (excuse the crude ASCII drawing) in both filters:
purigen + bio stars
more ehfisubstrat pro
Beginning to fishless cycle the tank now, after finally finding some clear ammonia at a Walgreens (everything else has surfactants in it). Bumped the Ammonia to ~4ppm and waiting for it to fall.
I've remineralized the RODI water with GLA's GH Booster and added some buffering capacity with some baking soda, but it appears I overshot my target:
Wanted: 1-2 dGH, 1-2 dKH, pH ~6.5
Got: 3 dGH, 4 dKH, pH ~7.6
So I'll have to play chemist some more to figure out exactly how much of each I need to add since I clearly overshot (I think it didn't dissolve right away so I didn't see the new reading and overdid things). Oh well---iirc the cycling goes more smoothly at higher pH anyway.
And there you have it: a newbie planted tank journey, starting now!