New Guy Questions
Ok I am sure this has all been asked before and I intend to do some searching... But I'll annoy you with them anyway. Sorry its long but want to be thorough
I have a 90 gallon that is already up and running with fish. Current inhabitants are 6 black neons, 5 serpae tetras, 3 small tinfoil barbs, 2 mollies, and a 4-5" pleco. Very soon I hope to add 15 nickle size angels and down the road 2 discus. I will add hear that as everyone grows up the heard will be thinned. The barbs will go even though I love them they get to big for what I want (I regret buying them already) and the Angles will get thinned to 4-5 of the better ones. The idea is this will be a angel/discus tank. (btw for those who dissapprove of that combo, I did it for years without issue).
Equipment I have now is sparse...read here open slate. I have one penguin HOB double biowheel filter, a heater, and pathetic 2 bulb t5 NO light fixture.
Subsrate is a mix of regular aquarium gravel and flourite of what I would call medium coarseness. I had intended on plants long ago but never bit the bullet. it is about a 50/50 mix. I have a large pile of lava rock on onside (some natural some not) and quite a bit of wood (combination of that heavy root stuff you get at pet store and two stumps from local lake long since cured and in aquarium use). And lastly ugly plastic plants.
Ok so with all of that where do I start for a planted tank. This will be to accent the fish... I don't want a forest. Swords are my favorite plant but since it is a deep tank some tall stuff is in order and maybe something on the wood would be nice.
Like I said this is an open book. I know the lighting is pathetic with two 28W t-5. So I am also a reef guy and reefs like light are we talking 4 (or 6)T5 HO or are we talking Metal Halide or combination. Substrate, is my current mix ok or should I be looking at sand and peat covered by current substrate. Right now I would say it is only 2" deep. What about flow in the tank...discus and angles don't like to be blown around so I don't want anymore flow than needed. I want to add two small powerheads to eliminate dead spots but that is about it. What about filtration.. I currentky run carbon and peat in my HOB to filter and lower PH.
Speaking of water parameters. I am shooting for 80 degrees, PH 6.0-6.5, and soft as possible. Is this cool?