Hello everyone! I am working on setting up my first tank. I'm also a poor college student a little over halfway done with my chemistry degree in Northern California.
I purchased a 20g tank off craigslist with hood and light. Leak tested it, and am currently working on finishing my stand build (Two stacks of two cinder blocks, 3 2x4s across the middle topped with plywood). Working on finishing the paint job so I can get everything going and it isn't gaudy.
I'm aware of cycling needs and have an air pump with 2 sponge filters. However, I am interested in keeping plants as a filtration source (and doing fish in, planted cycle). To this end I am attempting to grow what looks like greater duckweed (from a local creek, didn't take much) in a food grade bucket, which I also have one of my sponge filters hanging out in as well in case it manages to get seeded a little with bacteria. I'm considering going and getting some hornwort as well. Main idea is that it's tough enough for a crayfish.
To sum it up,
20 gallon tank
Pool Filter Sand Substrate
Cycling (sort of, heh)
Would like a crayfish (local)
Would also like some snails to keep the cray curious and full of calcium, might just do the whole petsmart gives free snails along with plants deal and add some MTS.
Duckweed (nitrogen sink) and/or hornwort (other allegedly good nitrogen sink)
Other things I'm looking into include a small pile of terra cotta pots to keep a cray full of happy places to hide in. It's a bit late in the year to catch them but I think I can manage one, seen plenty of dismembered claws and other bits in the creeks around here.
So, hello there