Thanks for the feedback Nestle. I absolutely agree with everything you suggested, but I may not go that route at this time.
whats the rating on the bulbs? 6500? For how deep a 20high is I would say 6500 is a minimum, especially with those plants who are also going to need ferts and co2. I highly suggest DIY co2, cheap and easy and very very helpful to all plants.
One is 6500, the other is slightly pink (I'm not sure of the rating for those bulbs). 2x24 watts should give me 'medium' light? I chose plants that people had said could be grown in medium light without CO2. I plan to start with excel though. But I really don't want to go down the slippery slope of diy CO2 at this time
Windelov java fern on the rocks
Pygmy Chain Sword
Consider adding a branch like driftwood piece or two just to add some height to the tank, and help your angel like the place better with some cover.
I've already been looking for something a bit taller. Sanchez doesn't seem to mind the open spaces. He likes to hang out and look around. When I get near the tank he begs for food. I had higher cover in the tank before and he didn't really use it. When the plants get taller I think he'll like to hang out in them though.
this also gives you more options for more plants/moss. Consider maybe anubius to try and grow on the rocks? It grows slow generally, and won't consume the rock making it impossible to see over time.
No more moss for me! My two experiences with it is that it never looked good (possibly due to neglect) and it gets all over the filtration. I have the java fern on the rocks for now. It has grown well on them in the past.
Also with only having play sand as the substrate you'll need to keep giving root tabs or something similar fairly often. If you like the look of the play sand then consider using a plant substrate below the sand, since you just put the plants in this would be a good time to do it before they try and get established. If you go this route then get something that won't float, scum up your water, etc. Most flourite's are good for this an easy to find at most LFS. EcoComplete is another option, but mine tends to turn the play sand a black color. Avoid light substrates like fluval's, though they look good and could actually cap over the sand.
I just added root tabs. I have tried the 'capping' with both flourite and dirt in the past and I always found it to be a lot of trouble. When I re-do my large tank I think I will go with 100% flourite this time, even though its expensive. I do need to increase the amount of sand - there is only 1 1/2" and I can already tell that is not enough.
If I go with EI dosing do I need the root tabs too?
PM me info and what happened with trying to move the angel to your community, I'm curious about that.
It wasn't anything horrible. It's just that Sanchez is a REALLY BAD swimmer. I guess its his long fins. He only uses his little pectoral fins for swimming. Then he gets blown around in the current and takes a bit to right himself. It's not that he is sick, he has always been this way. I think its just bad genetics. But he's a nice looking and interactive fish.
When I put him in the community tank (72g with canister filter, red line torpedo barbs, bolivian rams, rasbora) he had a few issues. First of all the current was too strong. I tried moving the filtration and turning it off for a few hours a day to give him some rest, but he just stayed in one spot or got blown around.
All of the fish were afraid of him and left him alone. But he was also afraid of all the other fish. He was skiddish all the time even though that tank has a lot of driftwood and some higher plants. He wasn't eating much, even when I hand fed him. And after two weeks he just looked so sad. He never really acclimated to that tank. So I moved him back and now he comes up to the glass and dances for his food again. He also likes the new plants and has been checking the new arrangement out.