Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: port huron michigan
I see not too many people really responded to this thread. It is over a month old as well. :/
I'm not an expert but I will try to help. I can't say much about the lights you are using because I have zero experience with LEDs. I use T5HO and 6500K 23w CFLs.
Lighting will be one of the biggest factors in good plant growth. Low light will equal weak plants that will eventually succumb to mold and root rot.
As far as substrate goes, most people create a drainage layer, whether it's terra cotta balls, or stones, or sand. This layer about 2"-3" inches is so that the plants don't drown. However, if you choose the right plants you do not need a drainage layer- but it really depends on what you are going for. Bog plants like Brazilian pennywort, java moss, and Riccia don't need much in the way of a drainage.
However, plants like peperomia, bromeliads, ferns, and philodendrons NEED drainage.
Also keep in mind plant placement. Imagine how each plant will grow in and where light will be afterwards. You don't want to plant things where it will be shaded eventually.
I've never heard of the sunlight thing, other than it heats up things fast. You would end up cooking anything alive.
As far as insects go, I'm not sure about that either. Some people put springtails and isopods into their vivs, but that mostly as a constant food source for dart frogs.
Another big bugaboo is tap water. Most people have tap water that is high in chlorine, calcium and other minerals. This is very bad for mosses, ferns, and orchids- not to mention frogs. I only use distilled and spring water on my vivariums.
I honestly recommend googling dendroboard. Great site for frogs and vivariums.