Ok Ive been on here for a week now and Im think im about ready to start my first dirted/planted tank. I am new to the technical aspects of aquatic plant keeping, but have been reading a ton on here. I may have things wrong so please feel free to chime in. Also im not sensitive so if you need to be harsh, Its all good. So lets get 2 it.
Aqua tech 20-40 HOB filter
Substrate- Uninstalled (MG organic potting mix, sifted. Capping with 20#bag of Caribsea Instant Aquarim "Sunset Gold" sand.)
Lights-3 23Watt 5000k CFL's in 8.5" Domes 3" above water
No heater yet
Dont have a Master test kit yet.
Heres the tank I built the hood and will be facing it and the cabinent below with pine doors that will match the tank in this next picture. WOW those CFLs are bright.
Ok so thats the plan. Now heres where I need some help.
This tank will not have any C02 added but I will dose with excel.
I may be talked into a DIY Co2 system, but Im cheap so it would have to be a necesity.
I would like a carpet of some type, Hoppy sugested Marsilea minuta, which he said does well with that light level. But it seems hard to find, anybody have any sugestions on where to get it from.
Heres a pick of my decor. These are locally collected pieces that I have soaked overnight in a bucket of bleach water and then Im gonna soak it for in clean water for a few days then let dry. Hope the bleach was ok to use, I fugured its harmelss when it dries so if I let them dry all the way I should be good right?
So Im looking for an Japanese or "Iguwami" (I think lol) style. I want something to grow from the wood too look like a bonsai tree. Any Suggestions?
Im not too concerned with the fauna yet so ill get to that once I have the plants established.
Beyond that just a couple of other ?'s.
#1 Can I get away without using a heater, if my water temp never goes below 68F.
#2 Im cheap so was hoping the dirt would keep me from having to dose expensive ferts?
#3 since im not adding fish at first is a test kit a must right away or can I wait and see how it goes.
Thanks for looking and ill update when I get it filled. That is unless someone talks me into drystarting the carpet?????