i've been out of the game for a long while and have recently set up a new 29 gal cube tank. having been such a long time, the new standard of LED lighting has presented a curve, but i'm learning all about PAR and adjusting well, I think. I have some plants and fish in there already, and the plants seem to be doing well. I just wanted to itemize what I currently have going on and am looking for some suggestions and help on making this a tank to be proud of.
- 27 gal cube
- glass hood
- 18" Marineland Single Bright LED
- 18" Marineland Double Bright LED
- AquaClear 30
- Tetra Whisper PF10
- some kind of heater that looks like it employs stealth fighter technology, no idea what, but it's encased in plastic and has a menacing red eye not too unlike a Cylon design might have on the front side. it keeps my tank at roughly 74°, at any rate.
- inert sand substrate
- 2 'medium-sized' pieces of Malaysian driftwood
- a small piece of Texas holey limestone (I used rainwater at the start and wanted to protect against a pH crash by adding some calcareous mineral buffer)
- a cluster of java ferns
- some java moss
- a cluster of wendtii crypts 'bronze'
- a spiralis crypt
- 6 black neons
- 4 glowlights
- 2 otos
i plan on adding 3 more glowlights, 3 more otos, and 5 julii Corys. i'd like to keep it relatively simple. i currently change roughly 10% of the water each week and maintain 0 ammonia and nitrite levels, and 0 or near 0 nitrate levels. I don't plan to get too much deeper into the chemistry, as it's not something I want to tear my hair out over. I am not running carbon. i'd also like to avoid CO2 if at all possible. here is the tank as it is:
I have some questions, if anyone would be so kind as to chime in:
with the sand substrate and what I figure to be roughly 30 PAR at the level of the substrate, what plant options do I have other than what I already possess? I assume, seeing as how PAR increases as the distance from the light decreases, that I could support some higher light stemmed plants (higher light than crypts, anyway). is that accurate? i'm hoping to get some red hues in there behind the wendtii; any suggestions? if no stemmed plants would work, maybe a red tiger lotus? alternatively I was thinking perhaps some red variant of the wendtii behind the bronze variant, which leads me into the next question . . .
my lights are configured so that the brighter one is all the way at the back of the tank to accommodate the crypts and the dimmer one more centered so as supplement the brighter one and to sun the Java fern and Java moss. this seems pretty intuitive to me, but I am made to understand that crypts can grow taller and stringier under lower light. so the question is, would it be wise to put the brighter light in the center so as to encourage thicker and lower growth of the wendtiis in the fore-/mid-ground and the dimmer fixture in the back so that the spiralis and wendtii variant that ends up there grow taller? I just wonder if they then might better occupy the rear of the tank from an aesthetic standpoint.
and in general, what am I doing wrong? any tips, suggestions, pointers, criticisms, grievances, etc, are welcome!
thanks in advance for any feedback.