I was encouraged to present a Photo Journal of my new tank, so here goes.
I am returning to aquariums after about 20 years. I used to have a 55, a 29 and a 20L aquarium. After a heater got stick in the "on" position and I lost my breeding pair of Discus, I lost interest, and as fish died in the other tanks, I took them down. I have a 90 gallon tank I never set up that I bought about this time. Maybe someday I will set that up of I find a place.
My new tank is a tiny little 10 gallon tank, just 10x20x12 inches. This will be a rather low tech tank, packed with plants and a very limited number of species of fish. The lights I am using at this time are 2 13w CFLs that are "full spectrum" lights from Sylvania. I bought these at a local "big box" home store and were the only full spectrum CF
lights I could find that would fit the hood. A little research showed that the color temperature is 5000K. As a photographer I know that sunlight is about 5300K so I am hoping these will work for this little tank with the plants I intend on growing. (I am open to suggestion but don't want to replace the hood and go to any great expense for this little tank.)
I spent a couple of weeks going to several local fish stores looking for nicely shaped wood (and dreaming of plants and fish) that I could prepare for my tank. I ended up with one larger piece that has a great hole in the middle and a couple of nice branches pointing out, on "L" shaped with a point coming forward in the tank. A second piece is oddly shaped with three spikes that were going to be used a a little tripod to make a cave underneath. It did not look great this way, so it was placed in a different manner with the larger piece leaning up on it. A longer log in front is used as a sort of a dam to hold the deeper gravel toward the back. Another smaller piece on the left serves the same purpose, and one last small piece is merely an anchor for a 3 inch rhizome Java Fern 'WindelÝv'
start that has 5 leaves over a foot long! (It does not fit my tank and is not very good looking, so I am hoping new leaves will be smaller and better looking if and when it starts growing again.) Yes, I boiled all the wood and scrubbed them with a lean nylon brush, then soaked them too.
All my gravel was recycled from one of my old tanks. (Never throw out anything! LOL) I washed, and washed and washed and boiled it, then put about 1" mixed with laterite for the bottom layer adding another 2" or so of gravel on top of that. Before placing the wood in the tank I tied three bunches of Narrow Leaf Java Fern and two starts of Anubias barteri v. nana 'Petite'
and a small bit of Java Moss
on one of the points. I also have the world's smallest start of Christmas Moss
attached to one of the points sticking out to the front of the aquarium. (When I was at my local fish store, they were stocking one of their display tanks with several pieces of Christmas Moss
. A tiny half inch piece had fallen on the counter, so I requisitioned what would have been wiped off the counter and thrown away. We shall see of it ever amounts to anything!)
I then spent a few hours trying to position the wood on a pleasing fashion and when I was happy I filled the tank, turned on the power filter and heater and waited. And while waiting I decided that there ware too few plants with nothing in the bottom at all, so I visited my local fish store and bought some plants. I got the huge and not too attractive Java Fern 'WindelÝv'
and a small piece of wood to mount it on (so I could move it around). I wanted a small plant, but this is what they had, so I got it hoping I could get some adventurous starts off it, which I did. Also got the Anubias barteri v. nana 'Petite'
and attached that to the front of one of the pieces of wood, some Dwarf Baby Tears
for the front (I need more but the store is out), and a small growing Sword Plant (Echinodorus parviflorus 'Tropica')
. I also got a nice Crinum calamistratum
that is planted in the back on the right. I could not resist this plant and hope it does well.
I have a Merimo Ball
too that you can see on the right.
I still need more plants in the front and will put in much more Dwarf Baby Tears
when the store gets more in a couple of weeks. I am also tempted by something I have not seen before. It is called Lilaeopsis nova "mini"
, or "Mini Micro Swords"
. This is much smaller than the regular Micro Sword (Lilaeopsis brasiliensis)
and is less than an inch tall. It is sold growing on a piece of stainless steel mesh that is about 2x3 inches. I was told it came from Takashi Amano in Japan by way of a broker in San Francisco. I can not find anything about this plant (would welcome information), but I am sorely tempted to get a piece and see how it does.
I want another rosette plant or two, something with some color or variegation for the right side, and I can't seem to find any Corkscrew Val
that I would like to put at the back. Would also like to try a piece or three of Pogostemon helferi
but can not find that either.
Yesterday I was at my local fish store and they had a tank of 1.5 inch Albino Bushynose specially priced at $6 each. One fish in the tank was a long fined version, and knowing that was a choice fish that should sell for a lot more, I made them chase that one down. So I have one fish in the tank now! I hope I did not make a mistake by getting a fish so early, but I could not resist. (The white thing on the left is a piece of zucchini.)
In the end this tank will have only Cardinal Tetras and some Cory habrosis and the Bushynose. Maybe when the tank water is old and comfortable I will add a pair of German Blue Rams.
I welcome your thoughts. More photos well follow... I am a photographer so a lot more photos may follow!