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Old 12-03-2012, 11:29 AM   #1
mangarabster
Algae Grower
 
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Location: India
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Default Substrate and lighting idea

Hello everyone,

I am from India and I am planning on doing some upgrades to my aquarium. I am cash strapped, so the work i will do will be DIY.

I have been maintaining a 30 gallon freshwater tank for than many years now. When i got it, i got a huge load of coral sand with it. However, I havent had issues with the sand as the fishes are fine with it. I used an undergravel filter. However, the best we can get here is dropping an airstone into the tube. I had plants that gew well in pots. I used to have it in the porch where there was plenty of sunlight. The major disadvantage of keeping it outside was the algae. After 3 weeks or so everything including the coral sand was covered in algae.

Recently I moved it indoors and I made my own hood for the tank (quite proud of that ). I installed a 20w fluorescent light. I put plants in pots. Most of them die quickly, excepting the cabomba which hasnt died, but hasnt grown much either. I tried stimulating their growth by adding co2 tablets, but they havent helped much. My tank is quite bare at the moment. I am planning on some changes over the next couple of days.

I am thinking of making a good environment for plants and hence for fishes by focusing on two areas.

My tank is 45cms high. I read in a book that for such depths the 20w is inadequate. I am thinking of adding a 25watt equivalent LED bulb. This wont increase my energy consumption by much. I am also thinking of sticking aluminum foil on the underside of the hood and the backside glass to increase the light into the tank. Is this a good idea.

I am thinking of this combination for the floor bed of the tank.

Top -> Down:

Gravel
Garden soil + Manure
Coral sand
Undergravel filter

Anything glaringly wrong with this?

I know the coral sand will increase the hardness of the water but i think it should be ok for the tetras, angels and gold fish i have in mind.

Thank you.
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