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Noticed something kina cool at my LFS

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It was my Birthday on Thursday. My husband knew I was going through a lot with my tank. He recommended maybe I just need to go to the local mom/pop FS and just look around... He reminded me that I wanted to do another aquascape, and maybe they had an aquarium I liked and could get some stuff to "Play with". 

WELLLLLL... He ordered me a 30 gallon breeder and a stand 🙂 . I picked out some really nice dragon stone, and wood. I will wait to get substrate and plants (from Aquarium co op of course) closer to when I get it set up.

I just want to scape it for now, and later (WAY later) add some fish. 

BUT... while I was there, I was taking time to look at people, what they were buying questions they were asking etc.. I noticed people coming in with huge jugs... I was wondering, what are they doing? This LFS sell a lot of live corals, salt water and fresh water fish. I went to the back of the store and saw 2 stations. 1 for saltwater, another reverse osmosis water. People were going to fill their jugs with water to do their water changes!!! I was like WHAT!! how cool is that! All of the fresh water fish in this store have reverse osmosis water in the tanks. 

My question is .. If someone purchases fish from a store like this, and they don't have reverse osmosis water if the fish would struggle with adapting? I have very hard water here.. Just was thinking about it when I was in there sitting on the floor playing with rocks..LOL (which drew quite a crowd I must say.. haha).

Below is a picture of one of the tanks set up in the store that I just LOVED.. Nothing is for sale in it.. but its was just magical to look at. 

Does anyone know what the little grasses are? I love that look.. but have NO idea what they are...and the banana plants..GAH so awesome! 


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@MJV Aquatics I heard they were pricey... but they sure are pretty .. I do think that I want something similar in style, that is not on top of the actual lid. I will have to look at what I can find. The only thing that is a bit of a challenge, is this is not a kit. I have to purchase everything separately. But its fine, I have the stand, ordered a glass canopy/top, have the aquarium coop sponge filters, and air stones. I will get the substrate and plants last. 

I plan on using a sponge filter (even though I won't have fish initially), I have 2 extra medium size ones. I think I might be able to hid it behind the rock/plant scape. 

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5 hours ago, Sandra the fish rookie said:

What kind of background would you all pick? I personally like the black, because it shows the plants and wood really well.

I’m currently a fan of dark blue backgrounds, esp if it’s a kind of grayish blue. I personally find the black too harsh. Actually I really like the light blue/green tones the tank has in the picture!

Congrats on your birthday present! I’m sure you’ll have a blast.

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On the subject of RO.

Since the water that evaporates from our tanks is effectively distilled water, replacing, doing top offs, with RO makes a lot of sense. You aren't adding new minerals to the system. Maintaining that mineral balance is more important in saltwater, I think. In planted tanks it could be a detriment as the plants need those minerals for growth. At the end of the day, it just gives the end user more control over their tanks parameters.

You do have to be careful with RO. Without the minerals to buffer the water it can shift suddenly from basic to acidic. This happened in my tank once...my molly colony was not amused. Since then I'm more careful about how much RO water I'm using.

The grass looks a lot like my dwarf sag. It took forever to get going and has become a magnet for brush algae(?) but it's pretty established now and spreading through the tank.

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That grass-like sagittaria subulata. That plant seems to like harder water. RO water is used normally for things that are picky or for saltwater. I use RO water for my Crystal Red Shrimp and just remineralize it. Kessil lights are really nice lights and they grow plants really well, just super expensive. 

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19 hours ago, Sandra the fish rookie said:

What kind of background would you all pick? I personally like the black, because it shows the plants and wood really well..

I agree with the black.  It does help to hide some of the plumbing and make everything else pop.  When I go to the LFS, I tend to see the background first. The background is not supposed to be a distraction. That being said, I have seen some great backlit  aquascapes, and  one of my experimental tanks has a dark red, (oxblood/burgundy) background.  which seems to compliment  the hardscape and plants.

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