Hello, my name is Arcturus and I would like to express how truly grateful I am that I was both selected and chosen for the March TOTM. For me, this a personal achievement as this is my first successful and stable planted tank.
I had been in the hobby for many years with very basic tanks, when I decided to try my hand at high tech planted aquariums. Having read so many success stories, I thought to myself, how hard can it be? I assumed it would be a painless and simple transition , but I quickly learned it was anything but painless and simple (for me anyway) . If you walk into this aspect of the hobby thinking as I did it will just be a “plug and play” experience, you will quickly experience everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
Daily – Clean glass as needed, check Co2 equipment, dose 1.0 ml per gallon of Flourish daily .
Weekly – I do a 40% water change with tap water and check my water with a temperature gun before filling tank as to minimize stress on my fish and shrimp, trim plants.
Monthly – I clean filter media with tank water replacing as needed, test my PH probes, and replace Aqua-Fertz fertilizer pellets.
Bi-monthly – I replace my Chemi-Pure Blue filter media
Every 6 months – I replace my inline GLA Diffuser with a clean one
Yearly – I replace the PH probes
I no longer test water parameters, instead I simply pay attention to what I see and make corrections if needed. I maintain a Ph of 6.5 @ 6 bubbles per second and keep my temperature set at 74 degrees. I use 100% pure lemon juice as needed to remove any calcium buildup on tank rim as needed.
Tank – 16g bowfront
Filter – SunSun HW-505b with 9w UV sterilizer
Light – Custom BML Dutch planted 6300k XB series, 8 hours a day on timer at 27% intensity
C02 system – GLA PRO-SS CO2 Two Stage Advanced System
Neo-Therm 100w Heater
Aqueon Circulation Pump
Substrate 2.0 inches Black Eco-Complete topped with 2.5 inches ST International Aqua Soil
Hemiathus callitrichoides “Cuba” Dwarf Baby Tears
Taxiphyllum sp. “Flame”
Conclusion: I have been humbled by the lessons I learned (the hard way), and although I know I still have a long way to go, I am proud to have finally made it this far. My only word of advice to those of you who are currently struggling through the same problems I did, is to follow the mantra so many veterans of planted tanks refer to again and again, “keep it simple stupid.” Though we all must learn in our own way and in our own time, this simple philosophy is certainly what brought me success while helping me make sense of so many things I could never figure out.
Again, thank you all for your votes and support I received over the years on this forum. It has meant so much to me. I also want to thank my wife whose patience, support, and encouragement has kept me going through all the hard times.Filed under Featured, TOTM.