I thought that i'd create a diary of my tank for those who are interested, to help or assist to those who are setting up a tank and to keep a 'log' if you like that i can refer back to. Also i have been posting quite a few questions recently all regarding this tank, so this should keep it more organised. Before i start i'd like to thank the people that have helped me so far.
I thought i'd start with a summary of what i have done so far. (I wouldn't blame you for not reading all of it!)
How i aquried the tank...
I came accross an old 'Europa' tank during the autumn, it was sitting in someones greenhouse and had been for many years. I was estimating it to be a 30 gallon but it looked bigger than my other tank so i wasnt too bothered.
Anyway, i finally got hold of the owner and she was more than happy for me to take it off her hands.
Cleaning The Tank...
When i took it home i measured it and it worked out to be a 20 gallon long, (36" x 12" x 15") then i rinsed it out before filling it and leaving it outside overnight to check for any leaks.
By Morning there seemed to be no leaks so i then emptyed the tank and started scrubbing with washing up liquid and then bleach. Rinse after rinse and scrub after scrub i then filled the tank again to double check for leaks, meanwhile i was thinking about what exactly to do with it. After rinsing the tank out numerous times i was confident that any bleach or detergent residue had been eliminated and the tank was safe to house fish.
The tank then became a temporary home for a ryukin who outgrew the biorb and needed a bigger home. We couldn't offer him a larger home as i wanted to use the tank for something else so i asked my LFS
if they would have him and they seemed happy to take him. Sadly i now think that he has passed away as i saw some fin rot on him when i visted the LFS
a couple of weeks later. The assistant said "He's out the back being treated" but he hasn't been brought back into the shop so one can only assume.
Heavily Planted Route...
So, i had came to the conclusion that i wanted to try and create a healthy, heavily planted tank. I had always admired these tanks and never really thought about creating one as they seemed beyond me, i wasn't too confident about trying one either.
I then thought 'why not' and started to read up on certain things and research products and equipment needed.
Setting up the tank...
I had ordered a Fluval 205 Filter, 2 bags of Eco Complete, Fluval 100W Heater and a Current USA Satelitte 96W CF
Light Fixture. I also attached a black background and bought some bogwood.
I then replaced some of the sealant as it looked dirty and i didn't really trust it, this procedure was a bit messy but i'm glad i done it.
I then put the Eco in and also made my first mistake by adding ammonia to cycle the tank with the light on for 8 hours a day and about 10 Elodea Densa in the tank. I did add some seeded material from my established tank and ran an old filter in my established tank before putting it in the new one. I inevitably encountered algae! After going over the tank with an algae scraper and algae magnet i then stirred up the substrate and syphoned out as much algae as i could. After encountering algae once i then came accross it again! This time i done what i did before but used a toothbrush on the hard to get areas, heater, filter and ther 'in tank' equipment! (I reccomend one!)
Thanks to some help on here i soon found out that i shouldn't be adding ammonia and needed to get the CO2
going and plant up the tank. (Still found out too late though! Research is vital!)
Buying Plants & Ferts...
Last week i bought some Potassium Nitrate, Potassium Sulphate, Flourish, Hemianthus Callitrichoides and Bacopa Caroliniana. I had to go for a driving lesson within minutes after opening the order up so i had a brief check before going on the lesson. I decided to plant up the tank the next day as it made more sense. So the next day i then began planting the HC, i was surprised that it only took me an hour and a half and that included planting the Bacopa's aswell.
I Yesterday I performed my weekly 50% water change and then took a trip to the LFS
. I didnt intend on buying anything really but my brother wanted a male GBR so i just went along with him.
I saw some Amano or (Cardina Japonica) shrimp and saw that they go over the substrate thoroughly to eat. These werent labelled correctly but i was 90% sure of what they were and what they eat, i also knew that i had to adopt 'silent stocking' and stock with fish or inverts very slowly. I aquired 2 of these little shrimp before coming to the conclusion that they were perfect for the tank as they eat algae and are very small, also i would like to add shrimp first so they have an advantage over any potential 'predators' like bolivian rams.
I also added my first dosage of ferts in 1/8 tsp Potassium Nitrate and 1/32 tsp of Potassium Sulphate.
After work i turned my light on and saw the shrimp whizzing around, then i added 1/3 capfull of Flourish.
I hope to keep this post updated and add some pictures to it aswell. I do have some i want to upload now but i have "reached my upload limit of 2MB" Any idea of how i can upload some pictures?
Thanks for reading, or more likely skim reading.