A week passed after filling my Ecoxotic EcoPico with reverse osmosis water and the tank was still cloudy. I was seriously regretting not rinsing the Seachem Flourite before putting the substrate inside my little tank.
My boss hooked me up with some plants and rocks he'd received from members of SCAPE (Southern California Aquatic Plant Enthusiasts), so I headed home for an exciting evening of aquascaping.
Unfortunately, I was met with immediate difficulty.
Using a long pair of tweezers with an angled tip, I meticulously inserted plant roots into the substrate with the dexterity of a surgeon. Yet, no matter how careful I was, I couldn't help disturbing the substrate. So much so that I could no longer see what I was doing. With plenty of RO water on standby, I decided to siphon out the the murky water so I could see what I was doing. I had no idea at the time if this was a wise maneuver, but I was determined to wake up tomorrow to a beautiful planted tank.
Now with the water essentially drained, I poked a few API Root Tabs into the Flourite. Although not initially a part of the plan—a colleague had given me them after I'd already filled the tank up—I seized the opportunity to fertilize the substrate. I pushed the tablets into the soil equal distance apart, basically everywhere but underneath the driftwood.
|Here's what Root Tabs look like outside their blister pack.|
|Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Root Tabs Aquarium Fertilizer|
|Front view looking down|
|Left side close-up|
|My back up plan|
I planned to add fish to the aquarium in a couple of weeks, so I began shopping around for a heater.
I'd been pining after the Hagen Fluval E-Series, a feature-rich line of heaters with all the bells and whistles. Of course, space inside the EcoPico is limited, not to mention the fact that the space age looking Fluval E-Series would stick out like a sore thumb in the natural aquascape I was trying to create. Small heaters, I discovered, are pretty hard to come by. I eventually settled on a 50-Watt Hydor Theo heater that ended up fitting perfectly in the tank.
|The 50W 7" Theo is among the smallest heaters on the market|
|Tank filled, Theo heater in place, cloudy/dusty water in effect.|
|NanoMag: Good things come in small packages|
In my next post, we'll check my plant growth and go shopping for fish.
Read more about my EcoPico: