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[APD] RE: Jared's tank

> From: "Jared Morris" <jmorris at infostations_com>
> Subject: [APD] new on the block
> I'm new to this list, and new to the hobby of planted aquariums.  I love
> ecosystem hobbies, and have been involved in the keeping of herps
> and amphibians) for years.   Since I started working at fish stores (4
> ago), my interest has been peeked by "Amano style" planted aquaria.  I
> a 29 gallon that I'd love to turn into a planted paradise.  I have been
> reading up, and have a pretty good idea about what I'd like to do, but
> questions remain, and I'd like general opinions on my plans.
> The lighting is 165 watts of 6700K cf (in a fan ventilated canopy), 

This is a great deal of light. You do not need this much.

> filtration is provided by an Ehiem 2213 canister. 

Good filter.

 CO2 is provided by a  DIY
> 2 L fermentation chamber, and dissolved by a DIY external reactor like
> one: http://www.aquaticscape.com/articles/co2reactor.htm.

Great reactor, the source of DIY is fine for this size tank.
Make sure you are able to keep a good CO2 levels in the tank.
Changing the brew often is a good way to keep the CO2 levels consistent.
There are jello methods etc.
Read up on DIY..

> I'm planning to use a top layer of Sea Chem Flourite (about 3") and a thin
> bottom layer of Red Sea Flora Base (about 1").  Are there other substrate
> additives I should consider?  I read that the Flora Base is "supposed" to
> changed every year... marketing hype, or reality? 

Hype.It'll last for the life of the tank/you. 

 Should I even mix these
> two (they both seem good, but in there own very specific ways, which is
> I thought of stratifying them).  How about the depth I'm talking about...
> good?

Your idea is fine.
I would suggest adding the following in addition.
Get a tank vacuum, deeply vacuum out at least 5-10 gallons of water, let
stand 10 minutes.
Decant off supernatant, save "dirt/mulm" in the bottom.
Add this to the bottom layer.
Take 2 handfuls of ground peat, add this to the bottom layer, add flora
base, add flourite.
You are now done. 

> I'll be using microsword as my foreground "lawn", probably some Vals for
> height, and I really like Anubias and Ludwigia for mid/back foliage.  I'm
> still working on my plant selection, but I hope these few will be a good
> start while I get this thank cycled.

There is no cycling in planted tanks. 
There is what I call a peroid of maturity in some tanks, but you should
never measure NH4, NO2 if you do things correctly in any planted tank.
Also, adding the mulm/peat with enhance this process greatly. You will
already possess the liveing bacteria and the particulate organic matter
that occurs in mature tanks.  

> I'm going to cycle with 3 serpae tetras.  Once cycled, I'd like to add a
> couple more serpaes, a school of 6 marbled hatchets, 3 glass catfish (love
> them!), 2 yo-yo loaches, and a few amano shrimp and siamensis.  I feel
> with enough plants, the large canister filter, high lighting, and the CO2
> I'm using, even this hefty load (added slowly) will not be too large for
> this smallish tank... thoughts?  Oh, do you think the glass cats (only
> 2" long now) will try to eat the shrimp?

Not Amano's, add these first, then larger catfish second.
I'd add about 30 or so Shrimp.

> I'll be decorating with lace rock and Malaysian drift wood... any reason
> choose my aquascape materials differently?

No, but look around and see what you like.

> Sorry for all the questions and my blabbering on... just a lot to think
> about and plan before I jump into this.
> Thanks,
> Jared

I'd try less light.
Substrate is good, CO2 is good(20-30ppm).

One thing that will stymy you: not adding enough plants from the start.
Pack as many plants as you possibilty can in there.
Like 3-4X what many new tank layouts suggest, often more.
If you add the mulm and enough plants at the start, you will not have new
start up tank problems.
It's not a question of cycling, that process is by passed in a well run

Tom Barr

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