I currently have a 10g mirrored back tank that had a leak so had to remove all inhabitants to new tanks. Now, I have repaired the tank fully, it has been holding water with no issue for quite some time (1.5 months). I decided that I really want to try my hand at a planted tank and see how I can do. If I need to, and I plan to do for a while anyway, I will keep it just plants and add no fish. I definitely won't add any until everything is good, and I will decide what fish I want, for plants I have (if the combination will be healthy for a fish that is!).
I know that I really desire in the long run...and it is definitely a LONG run, a german blue ram. I realize how much they are sensitive to parameters, which is why I plan to try to keep the tank for nearly a year probably before I THINK about adding him/her.
I am currently sinking a piece of driftwood that I have found out at my local creek. Took about 3 weeks of carving/slicing/de-barking until I got it to fit/be rid of all outer possible issues. I have boiled it for about 10 hours total, in about 2 hour intervals. This doesn't seem to be working much...I have soaked it as well, once I was done with the boiling (NOTHING could be alive after that much) I soaked it. Total hours soaked now is approximately 1000...42 days (in the tub so drained during showers/baths. It still isn't quite waterlogged yet (it floats a LOT slower that it did before, so I know it is getting there), but I am getting antsy at this point! I have decided that I am going to go and buy some slate and tie it down to it with high grade fishing line.
What kind of filter should I get? I heard that I can make my current UG filter work if I have no rooted plants in substrate, is that right?I am panning to use "Eco Complete,Pplanted Black Aquarium Substrate" that I can buy at my local Petco....I LOVE the black!I want 3 kinds of plants currently....Anubias (which I want anchored to the driftwood), java fern (which I would anchor to both driftwood and the slate), and hornwort (trimmed every day/as needed). Problem is my lighting...I have, and would like to keep the Zoo-Med 50/50 10W fluorescent bulbs (2 of them).
I have been told that unless overloading with plants, this will not work. But I want to make sure my lights get proper lighting. The tank is in the windowsill but is normalized to a temperature of 76-80 constantly.
How should I start everything in the actually growing tank because at this point it is raw?
There are front and top pictures of the wood that I am going to add, the lighter is only for size comparison
The wood will actually be upside down from how it is in the first picture, making it sort of cave, and from what I figure...in the middle /off to one side.