Help!! Switching Substrate and Want Advice!
Okay, so I apologize in advance for the length but I want to be thorough. My tank is a 20 gal high with large inert gravel. Current inhabitants are glowlight tetras and albino corys. For plants I have some java moss/ferns, anubias, micro sword and vallisneria.
I have been researching/reading a ton (and asking a lot of questions on plantedtank) and getting aspects of my tank by piecemeal, but am planning to make some big changes by creating a fully planted aquarium. My lighting is a Beamswork 6500K set on a nicrew timer. My ideal tank has low/medium light plants that I can keep without dosing pressurized CO2. I am currently using a combination of root tabs and seachem flourish.
I do not like the look of black or red substrates (although I know lots of people love it), so BDBS and eco complete are out. At the moment, I am leaning towards flourite dark but I also am playing around with the idea of a dirted tank capped with either flourite or pool filter sand. If it helps, I am planning on spiderwood and slate for hardscapes. Dirt seems easy and cheap, but Tim Barr in a thread mentioned that Flourite/Eco Complete is better long term. Also, since I have inhabitants, I can't use anything that will cause major spikes in ammonia. Finally, I am currently renting an apartment and will most likely be moving in the next couple of years so I don't want to invest a ton or get a set up that would be really difficult to tear down successfully. My main goal, however, is consistent and healthy plant growth.
Does anyone have experience with either substrate and what other types of plants would you recommend for my current tank/lights? I want plan accordingly and order all the plants I want so that I can take out my fish, lay the new substrate and plant everything in one shot.
Thanks for any advice/insight!!!!