Bump: Hey everybody,
Over the last month I have developed a fever... and the only prescription is the realization of my first (low tech no CO2) planted tank. I've bought books, read forums, and have been to all the local aquarium stores in the greater Los Angeles area several times each. I've slowly been acquiring all of the gear I need to scratch this itch-- So far I have a 29 gallon tank, top and pine stand, Eheim Pro 4+ 250 canister filter with custom cut foam filtration with biohome ultimate, 100W Eheim Jager heater -- i got an aquascaping tool kit off amazon, a nice bucket, digital thermometer, API master freshwater test kit, API GH & KH test kit. That said I still need some key ingredients to put this all together (key questions follow):
1. Water Chemistry
4. An LED light
My Tap Water Profile
GH=9 KH=7 PH=7.4
What Substrate Should I use?
--As far as fish go I am planning a peaceful community tank with some schooling varieties. I don't know and am flexible on what breeds. I do know I want to have some happy little bottom feeders. Cory Cats or Plecos (can I has both? which is better?) I've read sand is best for these guys but I'm worried about the anaerobic pocket situation, and compacting, and its inert and more difficult to vacuum clean. It looks awesome aesthetically... but I don't know. I just don't know!
--eco complete was an option I went through and I am still debating its use. But not too sure I like the look of it and I read it can raise the PH. With my PH at 7.4 is this a good idea???
Random side question: Should I use half bottled water and half tap water to fill my tank? That was suggested to me once...
--now I am leaning toward some kind of aqua soil... I have no qualm with getting ADA Amazonia, cost doesnt matter... what about Fluval Stratum? I know it will be fine for the bottom dwellers, great for the plants, and maybe even lower my PH some...
--open to other suggestions I haven't thought of
What Hardscape Should I use?
--do certain rocks affect water chemistry?
--do certain woods affect water chemistry?
What LED should I get? How much PAR/Watt i dunno
--i know i wanna go LED and I want the BEST. What are some of the best brands out there? Needs to have a 24hr timer
--I wanted to do Jungle Val, Java Fern, Anubias Nana, and.... yeah I need help here. Thoughts?
MAINLY THIS WHOLE RANT IS A QUESTION ABOUT WHICH SUBSTRATE I SHOULD GO WITH AND HOW IT WILL AFFECT THE CHEMISTRY OF MY TAP WATER TO MY BENEFIT OR DETRIMENT KEEPING IN MIND I WANT HAPPY BOTTOM FEEDERS BUT AM WARY OF USING SAND.
based on all this cooky info, what substrate would you use?
Bump: Was having trouble posting a thread so I tried a test post and it went through. Not the title I wanted for this thread however, looks like it landed here. Anyone who wanted to chime in go right ahead.