I thought I'd share the progress of my cycling Fluval Edge while I plan out my plants and arrangement.
Got my LEDs and housings in yesterday, and had a chance to wire everything up this evening. "Waterproofed" the connections with hot glue after crimping and sealing everything back up - no wires!
I specifically wanted to keep the Halogen lights that came with the aquarium for a few reasons. I checked out the 27W fluorescent mod that is going around with a Home Depot lamp, and decided the light was too cold and flat. Probably great for growing, but back when I was working in a gallery in NYC we used to use a combination of warm / cool lights to draw attention to certain works of art - the eyes naturally goes towards warmth.
Using LEDs allows me to "flood" the tank with light, and get a more even coverage across the bottom, but the halogens really draw your eyes - I'll plan my focal points around their beams. If things still seem too cold I'll switch to warm white LEDs. Right now I'm calculating total lumens at around 464 - between 30-40 Lux/sq in (watts are useless when calculating LEDs). Should be able to grow high light level plants, I think.
Right now I'm thinking glosso for carpeting, possibly adding HC, xmas moss or pygmy sword. Glosso seems to grow real fast and is so seductive! Perhaps some hairgrass around the rocks.
Any recommendations out there for a high growing grass for the back?
One thing that nobody seems to mention - the Halogen lights seem designed for dual purpose, both as light and heat source. When they're on my tank climbs a good 5 deg F. I get to keep that heat this way and not add another wire to my kit. Though I'm considering the custom Fluval Edge 25W heater, 78 is warmer than most plants like, right? Any thoughts out there?
Finally, I notice a sort of "fogginess" to my water - my tank is still cycling, and NO3 is just beginning to rise. Anyone guess what's causing it? I'm barely 10 days in to my cycle.
Here are some pics of the guppies and tetras, hard to photograph! Also, my custom lighting solution. Looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks.