Helping out my son
My son has a 29 gallon tank (30" long, 12 deep, 18.5" high) with the old classic black plastic cover and lamp. The lamp is rated for 20w and has a single 17 watt bulb (no other info is on the bulb). He has plain black gravel, an Emporer 280 HOB, and a 200 watt heater. In the tank he has a blue gourami, a gold gourami, a rainbow shark, a bala shrk, 3 giant danios, a clown pleco, a spotted pleco, and two large arulius barbs. His tap water is pretty good - pH 7.5, TDS ~100, KH 5 - 6, GH 10. His tank water is out of balance and really high in nitrates right now, but he is working that down.
He would like to try live plants for 2 reasons. He thinks they make the tank more interesting and alive. He would also like to stop vacuuming gunk out of the gravel every couple of weeks. He asked me if his tank is suitable for any plants as is as he has a 18month old and money is tight. His biggest problem is light, I think.
He is way under 1 watt/gal. I tried to find his PAR value in the charts provided by "Hoppy", but I just don't know which, if any, graph I should use.
Here are my questions:
Does anyone know if one of these graphs is correct to use? If not, is there another way to figure out what amount of light he has?
Assuming that I can't figure out what he really has, I am going to assume that he has low light. Other than anubias & ferns (A & F's), are there plants that will take nutrients from the substrate? A & F's will grow in low light, but are not going to help with sucking up the nutrients.
Also, anybody know if his crew will eat plants (other than A & F's)?