I've lurking and searching for a while, since I didn't have a serious planted tank. I recently (at Xmas time) acquired a 125 gallon for my cichlids, so decided to make the 20 gallon tall they came in a planted tank.
The specs. on the tank are: 24"x12"x18" (l x w x h), Penguin 100, Visitherm 100 watt heater, and Coralife 24" Aqualight Power Compact 1x65W light (bulb is a 6700K I think, since this is the f/w light).
This started out life as a Hagen tank with one of those black Marina tops with a 15W light and had a Fluval 2+ and a Hagen heater, which I ditched.
Anyway, I wish I had researched a bit more before I did the revamping last night.
I got a new glass top and the Coralife and 2 - 12 lb bags of Red Sea Flora Base (on the recommendation of the LFS - which uses it in their big dispaly tank). I am happy with the new light, it's great. The glass top from Hagen is pretty cheaply made, but only cost me $16 CDN, so no big deal. But I was searching around this morning on here, and it seems many people are unhappy with Flora Base.
I also had a choice of Fluorite or Eco Complete, but chose Flora Base since I had read on Planetcatfish that the substrate should be fine and smooth for Corys, which I plan to keep in there.
Anyway, did I screw up royally, and will I regret this choice 6 months down the road?
I plan to do the natural "cycle" by introducing a fairly heavy stocking of bunch plants tonight (it was set up with fresh water last night), getting the water up to temp first (heater wasn't in it after a heavy cleaning). Cabomba and Wisteria to begin with I think. And in a couple of weeks, I plan to add a few guppies and cardinal tetras and finally a few corys, at which time I want to put a centerpiece plant like a sword of some sort in there.
I don't plan on using CO2 (although the Flora Base says it naturally adds CO2 - how does it do that?) and want to keep it fairly low tech so that my wife can take care of it when I am on the road (I travel a little in my work).
Do you think my plan would work, or should I look into changing a few things. I guess I should plan on acquiring an SAE or two to keep up with the algae too.