I wanted to share with you my first steps into the wonderful world of aquariums. I'm not sure if this will be useful to anyone in the future, or if I'm just preserving and sharing the experience for posterity. I must say, I enjoyed the entire experience immensely, and I'm looking around at where I can fit more tanks.
I started with three little tanks. 2x 10lt (2.65 us gallon) and 1x 15lt (4 us gallons) and a love of Marimo moss balls 😃 I knew I wanted it to be heavily planted but knew nothing about aquatic plants... so I read, joined the forum and watched youtube. I was imagining the tanks as being just plants, but i soon realised that to have my little worlds work properly I needed to balance it. That's when I fell in love with shrimp. I had no idea there were so many different types and colours, I'd have a few snails to keep things clean and it seemed a Betta would complete my setup. Again, I had no idea they could be so fancy and beautiful. I also decided that I wanted the plants to be my filters.. so I'm going without for now, if I need to I will add them later. I want to keep my bioload low.
I'm going to wait until I see some good plant growth before I even think about adding my fish and then shrimp. I really don't want to kill anything, especially by rushing things.
I made my shopping list and started gathering all the bits and bobs I would need.
3x 25w heaters
Driftwood, to get biofilm on and tannins for my shrimp
3.5lt Tropica Plant growth substrate (1cm 1/2" all over)
10kg (22lb) Black limpopo course sand
When it came to the light I did struggle a little, I didn't want to spend tooooo much. I wondered if I could uses a plant grow light, that wasn't specifically for aquariums. I found a lamp that would be perfect, with 144 full spectrum LED's on 3 goose necks. this had a timer for 3, 6 and 12 hrs. 10x dimmable and was only 29.99 gbp. @Jessica. showed me that she used that kind of bulb in a super cool antique lamp she'd made so I decided to try it. When it arrived the build quality was actually much better than expected. I tested it on some herb pots that were struggling in the kitchen with the lack of sunlight. within a couple of hours my limp horizontal parsley had stood up and was leaning towards the light, I turned it.. it leaned back. I was so happy!
I ordered my plants, waited (somewhat) patiently, and then set to putting it all together. Just to namecheck.. I have been really inspired by @Streetwise nano tanks and just about everything @Daniel does!
The plants I chose were
Salviania Naturns (Water spangles. floater)
Elodia Densa (anacharis)
Liliopensis Brasiliensis (micro sword)
Echinodrorus Harbii (Oval leaf amazon sword type plant)
oh.. and 10 Marimo Mossballs