Dynara's 40 gallon planted
So I thought I'd keep a journal for this tank as it's my first real attempt at a planted setup.
Equipment is as follows:
Tank: 40 gallon (36" x 15" x 18") with pine stand
Filtration: Eheim Classis 2213 and AquaClear 70
Heater: 150w but thinking of upping this to a 200w
Light: Hagen Glo T5HO 2x39w (don't have this yet but about to order it)
My current thinking is to do a Southeast Asian biotope with small fish that will complement the plants - so nothing too flashy and distracting (but still beautiful). I want the plants/aquascaping to be as much a focus as the fish. Never attempted anything like this before and have no idea if I can pull it of to my satisfaction but, hey, it'll be fun trying.
As far as plants go I know I want Crypts, Java Moss, Java Fern and Aponogeton, but other than that I'm not too sure. I'd like to have a few other species - something with a different types of leaves as, other than the moss, those listed above all have similar shaped leaves. I'll have to trowel through plantgeek and see what I can find that's from the same region and has suitable light requirements etc (I'd like to avoid doing co2 if I can).
Fish I'm a little less certain on. For those of you who've seen my introduction thread you'll know that I'll potentially be travelling fairly often for work and my mum'll be looking after the tank whenever I'm away. I'd like to make this tank as low maintenance as possible so she doesn't have too much to do and there's less chance of things going wrong. So I'll be keeping things well understocked with just one school of small fish (probably rasboras). I'd like to have a 'final picture' in mind of what the stocking will be once the tanks well established and my mum and I are both more confident about maintaining it though. I'd still like to keep it well below capacity stocking but would eventually like to flesh things out a little, add one or two other species and get a more rounded biotope going.
So here's what I was thinking I'd eventually like to see in the tank:
a decent sized school of smaller rasboras - probably harlequins
a small (but at least half a dozen) school of small loaches - either dwarf chain or khuli
and either a single or a small group of one of the smaller species of gourami - sparkling or chocolate maybe
For now it would just be a school of rasboras. The fish places around here occasionally have some of the less common species but I think I'll be going for the harlequins, I like the shape of the fish and I think the black/orange colouring would look really good with all the greens of the plants without being too bright.
So what does everyone think? Any comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The tank is currently out on the verandah being tested for leaks (so far so good - the cat's name is Mr Toes by the way) but will be moved into place this afternoon. Then I just need to buy some dechlorinator (I have a bottle but it's been sitting around half empty for the last six months and I don't trust it) and a few other bits and pieces and I can start cycling!
Originally Posted by dynara
Very nice tank ! :) congrats my only suggestion is maybe a glass tops for it. To keep Mr. Toes out lol he already likes hanging out by it . i have some Harlequin rasboras there awesome lil piggies and active
Thanks dane. The tank does have glass lids but if my cats stay true to form there shouldn't be any problems - we already have a pond in the backyard full of white cloud mountain minnows and they completely ignore them - same with the cockatiel.
Adding Ambulia and Hygrophila to the list of plants I want to have.
So I got the dechlorinator, the 200 watt heater and some new filter media today. Got home set everything up, put the background on the tank (black wrapping paper - only thing I could find that was large enough that I wouldn't have a seam showing, think it'll look good with a dark substrate and plants) and started the filters up. The AC works fine but when I turned the canister on... damn, a leak. It's in one of the taps (or whatever those things are with the switches that let you keep the suction when you take the filter off to clean it so you don't have to prime it everytime). I checked everything I could think of, it's definitely not the connections to the hose and I tried switching around the taps and it still leaks, so it looks like I have to go shopping for spare parts tomorrow. Oh well, the AC can start the cycling process going in the meantime. I'm cycling with fish food - can't get hold of soap-free ammonia for love or money around here.
On a brighter note I ordered the light today, and a new test kit - half the things in my old one are almost empty and it's been kicking around for a good six or seven months.
It sounds like you have really nice setup in planning. Asian fish are very beautiful. In my spare time, just to tell you how much of a nerd I am, I made a list of plants and the areas they are native to. If you want I can give you the Asian part of the list so you can see what plant interest you. With the hagen glo that you ordered you will have about 2 wpg. This will allow for more than just low light plants, usually 2wpg is considered in the medium low/medium range.
As for fish have you thought of a pearl gourami? They are pretty peaceful if given enough space and are very striking. I had one in a 20g long and he was just stunning, especially when he emerged from a group of plants. I would personally stay away from chocolate gouramis as they are considered very fragile and need soft water.
30gL heavily planted: south american community tank
15g mod. planted: nano fish community tank
6g long(custom tank) mod planted: 6 bettas w/ dividers
Thanks wolf, that plant list would be great. I've considered the pearls. At the moment I'm thinking I'd like to keep the fish all roughly the same size but the gourami will be the last thing I'll be adding and I fully expect to change my mind several times between now and then, so I'm not ruling out anything yet (within the Southeast Asian biotope framework, I'm sure about this one thing at least).