Hi everybody! I'm not really an online forum person, I usually just lurk, but I'm going to attempt to make a journal about setting up my planted tank. Hopefully I will keep it up. :grin2: I tried a planted tank once before but it wasn't a very good attempt, and I gave up for a while and did some more reading. Now I think I'm ready to start again, and I've spent the last two weeks putting together my new 29 gallon aquarium which I can hopefully keep from becoming overrun with algae.
At this point it's mostly planted and all two of my fish were transferred over, one betta and one peppered cory. I also added four more corys for my lone guy. I have a few more plants arriving in the mail (Brazilian Pennywort, Staurogyne Repens, Bacopa Caroliniana, and Blyxa Japonica). I'm also really digging the foxtail I got so I may try and find more of that... not sure what the scientific name is, it doesn't look like Hornwort to me at all but obviously I am no expert! At this point it's just an experiment of what will survive in my tank, and then I will work with what grows well. :smile2:
I did a 2" potting mix substrate capped with 2" of black blasting sand. I am planning on dosing lean EI using dry ferts from NiloCG--I read that I don't have to when using soil as a substrate, but that doing so could promote the longevity of the nutrients in the soil as the stem plants would take more nutrients out of the water column? We will see how it goes; it will probably take some experimentation and mixtakes for me to figure that part out. I'm also dosing Excel daily. I have GH booster on the way because I'd like to add some shrimp in the future, and don't want them to have problems molting because I believe my GH is a little low for them.
I have a Finnex Planted+ on my tank, on four hours - off four hours - on four hours, as I've read in a few places that this can give the plants access to more carbon as a mid-day siesta lets the CO2 build up in the water. I feel like that will make more sense once I add the rest of my fauna, but I am hesitant to add anyone else at this point in time because my soil is leeching small amounts of ammonia still. I also like the siesta because then I can enjoy the tank with the lights on when I get home from work! lol I have lily pipes on a Fluval 206 cannister filter, and a small Koralia powerhead in the back.
According to my API test kit for the last two days:
Ammonia: 1.0 ppm
Nitrite: 0.25 ppm
Nitrate: 10 ppm
I have added prime to keep my fish safe (though really they don't seem bothered; all very active and happy), but can the plants still use ammonia after binding with whatever it binds to in Prime?
If I attached them correctly, there should be a picture of my tank (water is still a little cloudy since it's new), a picture of the Corys enjoying a shrimp pellet for dinner, and the betta my husband named Pescado Azul :icon_roll trying to horn in on the Corys dinnertime.
When the tank is ready I plan to add some more fauna:
Undetermined amount of Amano Shrimp
Undetermined amount of RCS
~12 x Rummy nose Tetras
Maybe a few more Corys; they're very lively in a planted tank!
OK. I think that's it. Guess I will update some other time.