Here is where we stand as we get ready to go back to teaching on Monday after a three week break. This has been a lot of work, but fun fixing the mess ups and getting it (I think) close to right.
The stand is built, not shown in this picture, I still need the trim and to install the door...Various foul ups have put me behind.
This is the second tank, the first bowed dangerously, and thanks to good advice from forum contributors, I made a change.
The dark driftwood
is mobani from Petsmart (the keep it in the reptile section, but very good prices from what I have seen elsewhere) The light wood is from the Neuse River, we live beside it. I even have my own boiling kettle now. The plants
came from internet vendors. All in all, overwhelmed by quality, shipping, and how many plants, "above and beyond" I received. There are a bunch of the root tab pellets in the substrate. I have plants I just cant use in a bucket of tank water, warming, in case magic happens. The fish:
Started off with 6 cherry barbs, you can see most of them streaking in the picture.
Added 15 cories: 2 "3 lined" 6 elegans, and 7 pandas. After tank prepped, planted heavily, and Cycled. NH3 has never been more that .25, NO2 and NO3 have never shown any color whatsoever, so I think I dodged a bullet.
I have also added two gold gouramis, to get some activity at the top, but those dudes love the caves.
I have a few more fish coming next week.
As you can see, against the advice of the experts, I am running a combo gravel and sand substrate. Hey, "no guts, no air medal."
I am running an Eheim 2215 that I have been thrilled with so far. I did drill a number of small holes in the spraybar that really helped reduce the current in the tank...another forum tip. I have two 250W heaters...I have only seen the red lights on briefly.
Comments, suggestions, whatever. I posted and typed all of this to get the thoughts of the experts, so don't be shy. Thanks.