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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm getting back into the hobby again! I had a couple tanks in high school and two tanks in college but both times moving meant I had to sell off all my fish/equipment :( ... Finally bought my first house 9 months ago so it's time to get back in it.

Style: Low-Tech
Tank: Mr Aqua 22gallon (36x12x12)
Controller: Digital Aquatics ReefKeeper Basic
Stand: DIY
Filter: Fluval 206
Skimmer: AZOO 250
Heater: Hydor in-line
Light: 2 LESON 6500K LED bulbs (13W) in IKEA TERTIAL
Substrate: BDBS with root tabs
Hardscape: Dragon Stone
Plants: stem plants, swords, etc
Fertilizer: 1 pump Aquarium CO-OP fertilizer once a week.

First Planting:


Current:


Original Post:
I've been out of the game for quite a while so any recommendations for plants would be much appreciated. I know I definitely want some red plants in the tank but I remember a lot of my favorites requiring CO2 which I've decided against for this tank

I'm also not sure what kind of fish to put in the tank. I've compiled a list of my favorites so far, but I'm not sure which one's to go with, or how many of each. It'll probably be quite a while before I have the tank stocked since I have to get the cycle going and the tank stable, probably put the oto's in first in around a month.

- Celestial Pearl Danios - My favorite small schooling fish
- Clown Killifish - Beautiful non-annual killi, jumpers
- Badis badis - Perfect for water conditions, never seen them at LFS
- Oto - Fantastic algae eaters, no captive bred.
- Rummy Nose Tetra - Quick schooling fish, maybe to big and quick for the tank?
- Forktail Rainbow - Gorgeous, jumper
- Gertrude's Rainbow - Gorgeous, jumper
- Emperor Tetra - Great color combo, a little big for what I'm going for
- Panda Cory - might go with these instead of otos

I'll want to go with 1-2 schooling group, 6 otos/cory and 2-3 centerpiece fish, but I could drop the centerpiece fish out if I think it would overcrowd the tank.

Finally. I'm using some root tabs and I plan on dosing a combination of Seachem Excel and Trace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What do y'all think I should do about lighting? I heard 1.5 to 2 WPG for low tech but this tank is going to be pretty shallow so I'm thinking closer to 1.5 WPG. I have a Finnex Ray2 left over from my old 29 gallon. I believe it's the 30DS which would make it 30" long and 20 watts at 7000K. A second one would get me to 40watts which is 1.8 WPG. To get to 1.5 WPG I would need 13 watts which could be achieved with a CFL.

Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update 3/24 - A lot happened

I compiled most of stuff I need to set up the tank yesterday including the filter, BDBS, inline heater, etc... but, unfortunately, I also came home to this...



Thanks UPS...

Fortunately, the folks over at Bulk Reef Supply were amazing and are shipping out a new one to me this morning! The other good news is, even though it was destroyed, I was still able to get some dimensions off the tank to finalize the design of the stand. To those who are curious, the Mr Aqua 22 is actually 36.25x12.125x12.125.



The design is all 2x4s and 2x2s with some plywood 1/2 plywood

Hopefully I can get the stand completed before the tank gets here next week! The only stuff I have left to collect other than plants and fish are some 5/8" tubing and the hardscape. Both of which I plan to pick up this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would have had to fight that ups guy
Stand looks like a good plan, will it be that color?
If I had been home for the delivery, he probably wouldn't have been able to leave. You could hear all the broken glass when moving the box. He probably feels like he doesn't "get payed enough to care," which is a great way to ensure you never do IMO... UPS is sending a guy to my house to inspect the package for the insurance claim so that guy will be getting an ear full. Mostly because they expect me to take time out of my weekend so they can inspect their mistake... They can waste my time on the weekend but can't deliver on the weekend apparently. /rant

The stand is really simple but there are a few ways I can dress it up in the future if I so choose. I'd really like to stain the stand but plywood doesn't lend itself to stain all that well so I'll probably end up painting it a light matte grey.
 

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Update 3/24 - A lot happened

I compiled most of stuff I need to set up the tank yesterday including the filter, BDBS, inline heater, etc... but, unfortunately, I also came home to this...



Thanks UPS...

Fortunately, the folks over at Bulk Reef Supply were amazing and are shipping out a new one to me this morning! The other good news is, even though it was destroyed, I was still able to get some dimensions off the tank to finalize the design of the stand. To those who are curious, the Mr Aqua 22 is actually 36.25x12.125x12.125.



The design is all 2x4s and 2x2s with some plywood 1/2 plywood

Hopefully I can get the stand completed before the tank gets here next week! The only stuff I have left to collect other than plants and fish are some 5/8" tubing and the hardscape. Both of which I plan to pick up this weekend.
wow. heart breaking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Tested my tap water with the API kit and got 7.4-7.6 for the pH (7.6 on pH, 7.4 on High Range pH) and 100-200ppm on the KH and GH tests.

These test make me wonder if keeping rams is really a good idea. Both my LFS had GBR but I wonder if they're locally bred in Houston water (I highly doubt it). CPD and Otos should be fine which is good. I could go RO/DI but I really don't want to for just one tank. Might have to find a different center piece fish :(. Maybe Badis if I can find them?
 

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What do y'all think I should do about lighting? I heard 1.5 to 2 WPG for low tech but this tank is going to be pretty shallow so I'm thinking closer to 1.5 WPG. I have a Finnex Ray2 left over from my old 29 gallon. I believe it's the 30DS which would make it 30" long and 20 watts at 7000K. A second one would get me to 40watts which is 1.8 WPG. To get to 1.5 WPG I would need 13 watts which could be achieved with a CFL.

Thoughts?
The old WPG rule does not apply to LED fixtures. A Finnex Stingray is about all you'll want on that shallow tank. Anything stronger than that and you'll be in medium to high light.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update 3/26 - Dragon Rock

Picked up some dragon rock today for the scape. I'll post pictures once I'm done cleaning it (filthy stuff). A friend of mine owns a furniture business so he is cutting all the wood for the stand. I'd do it myself but don't have the nice tools he has, plus he owed me one. Once I get those parts I'll build it and paint it. Then it's just a matter of waiting on the new tank which should be here on wednesday.

The old WPG rule does not apply to LED fixtures. A Finnex Stingray is about all you'll want on that shallow tank. Anything stronger than that and you'll be in medium to high light.
Totally agree about the WPG not really working for LEDs. Here's a thread I started over in the Lighting section that covers my thought process on my decision to go with two 9W 1180 lumen bulbs. It's a bit of a gamble but I think it's going to look awesome. My only real concern is spreading the light over 3 feet with only 2 bulbs but I'm hopeful it will work out. I can always switch to something else if this doesn't work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update 3/28 - Tank Stand
Thank stand is well on it's way. Unfortunately, I screwed up and ended up short 2 pieces so my friend is cutting those up for me today. Once I have those pieces I should be able to complete the build. After that it's plywood and wood putty before sanding and adding a coat or two of paint. Haven't decided on color yet but thinking dark grey.

This picture shows how the frame goes together.


The 2x2s are only used to hold the vertical 2x4s in place. This design allows the weight transfer to go through the vertical 2x4s instead of on wood screws.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update 3/30 - Getting Close!

The stand is almost complete (just missing the door) and the tank arrived yesterday so I can finally start the process of setting this thing up. I must say, I'm pretty happy with the lighting solution. I think it looks great and the light output is surprisingly good. I have 2 light bulbs I'll be trying (1180 and 1550 lumens) and I can adjust the height. It would be great if I ad access to a PAR meter.

Lighting mount:


Basic setup:


With tank and hardscape:


Tank shot:


Still working out the hardscape and have some more sand to put down on the right side of the tank. Very happy so far though. The BDBS seems a bit "fluffy." Will it compact a little once there is water in the tank? I don't want to have to add sand later because it compacted and now it's not deep enough.
 

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Looking nice! I like the scape, and the lighting solution. Where did you get those lamps?
 

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