The best time to write a blog is while travelling...Atleast, that is what I do. Whatever I share is my total experience. As a hobbyist and a seller, i always experiment the products...Then I recommend to clients.
I always get this query from wanna be aquarists...always asking for cheaper products or alternative products to anything...( since I am writing about planted tank, i will stick to the planted aquarium)
First and foremost, there is no shortcuts. Invest:
1) Proper lights according to the size of the tank...and penetration of the light to the dept, choose proper light..I use sunsun ADS 700c for my 35inches length tank with a depth of 18inch...it serves my budget and most importantly my purpose.
2) Soil: This is very important...its one time investment...you don't even want to bother for 3-4 years. Don't invest in a soil where it will just break down. I have tried the
, and its excellent soil. The growth is beautiful and it comes with nutrients..It also does not leak Ammonia...
3) Filteration: Aquarium should have proper interaction...if your tank is 3ft and above, invest in a proper canister...the Filteration should cover all parts of aquarium...
For a beginner tank, first and foremost GO EASY...Dont invest in RED plants...just invest in easy plants...some plants cannot grow in soil...you need to attach on drift wood or even rocks like Anubias or bucephlandra.....(these are good plants )slow growing, require little lighting, not enough maintenance. I would recommend as a beginner not to go with any sort of carpet ...you can try with MOSS, Cryptocoryne Beckettii, JAVA ferns and my favourite Anubias nana. .
Don't cover your surface by any floating plants...you might just block the lights reaching the surface...
Get settled in your new tank...and then proceed gradually...
Next question comes whether to have a high tech or low tech tank...its a personal choice and budget..if you are going for a larger tank, i would recommend to go for a high tech tank with a pressurised co2 ( this will give an excellent growth to the plants) for smaller tank you can try the low tech tank with dosing with flourish excel(chemical co2) from seachem..it also helps in algae reduction(though the company has not claimed officially)/./In the long run it makes economic sense to go for pressurised co2..the kit should not cost you more than Rs.8,500/- (INR)....you will need to invest at least 450-550 for a co2 1kg cylinder which can last to 35-40 days.
3) Also invest in Digital Timers (this can help you to control your planted tank efficiently, even if you are travelling) available at www.aquafishcare.com.
4) Dont GIVE Up....initally you will dose extra...you will have problem with Algae...its all part of learning...And yes invest in Ottocinclus..atleast dozen of them for a 3ft tank.
You can reach out to Sunil from www.aquafishcare.com