Thank you for your replies.
-- I got the coral sand along with the tank when i bought it second hand from a friend. Since they didnt seem to affect the fishes, I didnt change it.
In my tank, I currently have 3 "hockey stick tetras", 2 "Bleeding heart tetras" and 4 other tetras i dont know the name of. A 4" long gold, two 2" long pot bellied gold, 4 angels, 4 pink zebras, one sword fish and one 7" cat fish who thinks he is 3"es long. I got the angels and the pot-bellied gold recently. All other fishes have been with me for a year.
Although, i would love tetras, i would like some variety and i went for what i then thought to be relatively peaceful species suitable for a tank with tetras. I have a couple of 3feet high cement pots in the garden with water lilies in which I could put the angels and gold fish in case they became big for the tank or start giving trouble. Maybe the reason the goldfish hasnt grown or the fishes are not fighting/eating each other is because of the near depressing lack of plants and lighting conditions. Maybe I should keep it that way
Any other ideas for fish I could put with tetras? (mollies and guppies?) Oh, I was also thinking of adding one betta (siamese fighter fish) to the tank.
Diana -- I will scrap the shrimp idea then. I did think about painting the underside of the hood white, but then i thought that the aluminum foil would be better. I will paint it white. It can be done cheaply, will last longer and wont electrocute me
"Run the up-tubes to the back corners under the plant substrate, then up." I didnt understand this part. Could explain this to me a bit more please. Also, i dont know what up-tubes are.
Will covering the plant soil/substrate with gravel prevent the water from getting cloudy.
-- I read somewhere that undergravel filters are good because they help in breaking down the harmful chemicals in the water because they feed the bacteria in the gravel/substrate. If sponge filters would do a good job with a full plant substrate bottom, i wouldnt mind spending some cash on that.
I would like to try some/partial plant substrate bottom so that the plants are more free to grow. If this doesnt work, I could fall back to just potting rows of pots with plants in them. I think i would have to re-pot every couple of months to replenish the soil nutrients.
LED lights should be in the daylight spectrum, right?
Thanks again everyone for taking the time out to answer my queries. I appreciate it.
I am planning on going to a fish farm in a couple of days. I am forming a shopping list in my head. (Item #1. All kinds of tetras available
). Your suggestions would be welcome.