I've been trying to get into this hobby but have never had the time, until these past few weeks.
Anyway, my setup is as follows:
old 10 gallon tank that was given to me
(2) 13W (60W equivalent) CFL lamps
aquaclear 20 power filter
random rocks I found laying around the house
-some plant that i forgot the name to in the back
1/7/12 - Setup tank, started cycling by dropping few flakes of fishfood.
1/10/12 - Planted HC
1/14/12 - planted background plant, started dosing with excel.
Today was the first day I tested (kit came in late) and the readings were:
nitrites 2.0 ppm
nitrates 5.0 ppm
Somehow I ordered the wrong test kit and got the saltwater instead of the freshwater, so I'll need to get a ph testkit for freshwater. From these initial readings, I am thinking that my tank has not finished cycling.
One question that I have concerning the HC is that it hasn't quite taken hold onto the substrate. There were certain days that I came home from work only to find the HC floating around on the surface of the water. I'm wondering if the substrate I have is suitable for planting HC. How is this supposed to be planted? Also, I know it's only been a few days, but there doesn't seem to be any growth from the HC.
1. Add a few more plants in the back corners maybe. suggestions?
2. getting test kit to measure ph, kh, figuring out how much CO2 I will have.
3. build DIY CO2 system instead of dosing with the excel. I have most of the materials already to do this, I just havent had the time to tinker with it yet. I figure I'll go back to using the excel if my DIY fails.
4. Thinking about adding 5-6 tetras after tank has finished cycling.
Anyway, looking forward to read any comments you may have.