So I am almost perfectly new to planted tanks though I've had an interest in them for a while now. I've recently decided to make my 3 gallon Marineland Crescent into a fully planted. I'm definitely looking for some advice. I've been looking through the forum and reading loads today but am still unsure about some things. Feeling a little overwhelmed as well.
The tank has been running for a good while now (at least 6 months) and everything has been running pretty smoothly. It's been very basic with just regular gravel, a few fake plants, small ornaments, and a few months ago I thought I'd throw in some live plants to see how it would go (completely uneducated). I'm annoyed that I can't remember exactly what I bought but they look like Java Fern to me. Though I thought I had bought some amazon sword. They've been holding up pretty well for having little to no light though obviously there needs to be a bit more pruning now.
I have an endler's livebearer, mystery snail, and an ADF. The frog and fish are still small though the snail is at least an inch and a quarter. I can always move stuff if you think this would be a problem for a planted tank. I'd rather find out now than starting stuff and finding I'm setting myself up for failure.
Basically, I want to re-do the whole thing. I bought myself some FloraMax to use as substrate and I'd like to use either some mopani wood or some stones (or maybe a small amount of both). Does anyone know if buying the mopani as aquarium ready would be easier on the tank than the regular reptile stuff?
I'm also hoping to change out the Tetra Whisper 10i with a Marina Slim Power Filter. One of my main questions is what sort of lighting should I use?
Will it hurt my fish to work around them gradually? Like changing out the substrate and leaving it for a bit and then adding the hardscaping etc etc. I'd be looking to use either some dwarf hairgrass, java moss, dwarf subulata as ground cover and I'm still researching for other plants.
Wow, now I feel even more unprepared than ever. I suppose I really just need to know if I'm on the right track with my brain thoughts or if I'm going in a horribly wrong direction.