So I decided to keep a journal just so I can look back at this experience, monitor my progress and maybe get a few tips along the way. It's going to be a multi month process before I have my 40 gallon tank going, but here is the equipment I have so far for the final setup:
40 gallon breeder
2 T5HO 6500k fixture - 78 watts
Milwalkee PH meter, aquatec regulator/solenoid and 15lb CO2 tank
Here is my pathetic empty tank:
Before I get started, I need to purchase substrate and a filter and find some nice rocks for my aquascape. I was thinking about the Fluval 206 since it is on sale right now for $83 with shipping. In terms of the substrate, all I know is that I will NOT use the fluorite I'm using now....since it is sooo cloudy whenever you touch anything.
In the meantime, I started a 10 gallon tank 3 weeks ago, with my goal being to grow/propagate some of the plants I will be using in my final setup. It has since been plagued with hair algae
Here is what it looks like:
I also fertilize with this API Leaf Zone and some KNO3.
My Water is 2 parts RO, 1 part Well water (lots of limestone here)
Right now I have the following plants:
LUDWIGIA REPENS - My best grower so far.....just cut them and replanted today.
VALLISNERIA AMERICANA - New growth is slow and small so far
HYGROPHILA CORYMBOSA - 1 little stem the lfs guy gave me for free...growing well
Java Moss - Not sure what type, lfs threw a strand of this in for free too, growing well
Echinodorus tenellus - Just planted a few days ago
CRYPTOCORYNE WENDTII - 1 green and 1 red....both melted first week
APONOGETON ????? - grew from a bulb....growing like crazy.
My Aponogeton has flowers, so hopefully it will not be too hard to propagate. I have found some useful info on the internet. The only thing I really dont understand is the Cryptocoryne. It now has a couple very small leaves and some side plants that were growing from it, but none of the leaves are larger than an inch or look very healthy.
My goal is to triple the amount of plants I have over the next month or two, so that my 40 gallon will not cost me a fortune to fill with plants. I would still like to get a java fern, but they are so expensive. We will see...
I'll try and post some mock up plans for my tank layout tomorrow.