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This is a rough first attempt at a planted tank, developed over the last six months thanks to the inspiration and excellent guides of this forum.

I'm relatively new to aquariums, having returned to the hobby about two years ago, only to learn that what a 8 year old "knew" about the hobby several decades ago versus the reality of cycling and water quality can be quite a gulf. I only hope I won't be repeating some of the well intentioned mistakes of long ago. (You mean you shouldn't be washing & scrubbing out your HOB filter every week? :icon_conf And live plants were never really sold around here.) It's been much more fun than I ever remembered it being. :)



EcoComplete substrate
Rena Filstar XP3
78'F
Pressurized CO2
4 x 39W T5's

I've set it up as a community tank, stocked with an oddball assortment of:
Blue Tetra (Boehlkea fredcochui)
Gold Tetra (Hemigrammus rodwayi)
Endler's Livebearer (Poecilia sp. 'Endler')
Kuhli Loach (Acanthophthalmus kuhli)
Pygmy Corydora (Corydoras pygmaeus)
Albino Dwarf Plecostomus (not sure what exact species, seems ~2.5" and holding, looks almost like a female albino bristlenose, but I thought those grew longer)
Singapore Bamboo Shrimp

I'm hoping to add about six Botia striata's or kubotai's, if I can ever find them locally.

As far as plants go, I'm slowly branching out. I started with a few Crypt wendtii, red and bronze, and Jungle Val, and just added an Amazon sword, Ozelot sword, and my new favorite, an Amaranth Redroot (nothing too exotic compared to what I see regularly here, but the local selection is fairly limited).

I'd like to eventually play with some HC now that I've added CO2 and more light (I tried some before, but didn't understand just how much they need strong light and CO2). With temps in the teens to low twenties ('F) around here, I'm guessing I'll have to hold off on any shipments until it warms up. Anyone have experience with cold weather shipments?
 
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