I'd like to call for a wide range of expertise to advise me on my current goal. Planted aquariums have entailed a long and expensive learning curve for me and Iím still not and will never be omniscient on the topic. Notwithstanding, collaborations of minds tend to provide the best answers to any predicament. I'll be heading off to college next fall and I need to take strides to make my tank sustainable for weeks at a time because I certainly can't count on my father for maintenance. I'm a little over a year into the hobby and Iím much greener than my plants. I intend to do what I can to transform my tank from a novice's trial and error to something I can be proud of with little work after initial setup.
Iíve been running a coralife dual t5ho fixture with a 6400k and a colormax bulb in my 36 gallon bowfront tank. Iíve got a mixture of floramax substrate and super naturals black sand. Thereís even some plain petsmart black dyed gravel mixed in. The inhabitants are simple, just neon tetras and cherry shrimp. Iím a plant guy. My ph is quite basic at 7.9 and my ammonia levels, nitrates, nitrites all are near 0. I havenít delved into anymore aquarium chemistry than that. Some plants are doing fine and others are hanging on but hereís a flora list:
Anubias nana golden
A light hindering shield of duckweed.
Iíve been putting thought toward what I would include in my new setup and Iíve decided that Iíd like to have a nice glosso carpet, manzanita with mini pellia and weeping moss, some stem plants for background, and blyxxa Japonica blending the driftwood in in the midground. My aspirations might be high but thatís partly why Iím asking for advice. Iíve taken our beloved light Guru, Hoppyís advice and purchased a catalina t5ho with a 6700k bulb which according to hoppy will put me at a nice medium light range (higher than my dual coralife t5ho). Iíd also like to get some MGOPS as a simple, cheap substrate and cap it with black sand.
Iíd like any advice this wise community has to offer and please bear in mind that Iím on a strict budget seeing as though Iím an unemployed high school senior.
CURRENT TANK and manzanita i'll incorporate into the new setup included in pictures
sounds like u got a pretty nice plan going for ur self, once you start the rescape more people will probably give advice. i do like ur choice of plants for the rescape tho some of my favs, glosso mats are always beautiful combo with blyxa
im working with the same size tank, and am in a bit of a lighting conundrum. what intensity would you say your light is at, and how is growth of your plants?
As I said I've been using a 24inch coralife t5ho with a total of 48 watts and I'm finding that that's actually pretty low output. I've only had my Catalina light for a day and I can visually see that it is much brighter than the coralife.. It only has one bulb and cost me 30$ less . I'm guessing the 30 inch Catalina will be medium light.