Lets cut to today's business:
I ended up going to Petco for the buy. There was another intersting submersible filter for turtletanks which likely could have worked just as good, but it was 10.00 more.. while smaller than the duetto 50, it was not really worth the extra money.
So... what did I do today when I got back from all my errands in preparation for this project? Boil driftwood and clean the substrate.
|Boiling the driftwood - this makes sure there are no nasties and leaches tannins|
|That's the fluval stratum being washed by me.|
While the driftwood was boiling and the substrate was cleaned, I could then start layering my substrate in the tank! It's about an inch to an inch and a half thick... I also seeded some biozyme bacteria into the substrate to help kick off the cycling of the tank.
I'm going to be using a fishless cycle and using 10% Ammonia Hydroxide (Ace Hardware) to feed the bacteria. The plants will also suck up some of the ammonia and eventually the nitrites that will be produced. For more information on Cycling check out this forum post on Bettafish.com
So to the planting! Once the driftwood was ready, I used that as my centerpiece to plant around. Vals will grow to the back left, my Amazon Sword in the back center, and the Argentine swords in the back right. I've got Pennywart growing to the left mid and the Hygros just in front of the driftwood. Some HC in the front to grow into a nice ground cover.
The HC was hard to plant... once filled up with water, I'm not sure if they are really in the substrate, I'm hoping that they will grow a bit stronger and root up... only time!
So, added more biozyme to the filter sponges to encourage bacteria growth... and placed some root tabs into the substrate for the heavy root feeders.
I don't have a good picture of the tank filled up.. there wasn't much cloudiness - I attribute that to good washing of the substrate... But, it's filled up - added the ammonia, maybe a bit much... (1.5ml) which after testing raised it to 8ppm. (I think I added too much, so I'm going to keep testing and try to keep the ppm at around 4-5.) Set up the light and the CO2 kit... added 3.5ml of stresscoat water conditioner and 3.5ml of Nutrafin Plant Gro.
We shall see what tomorrow brings! I anticipate the tank cycling will take about 2 to 4 weeks...