Hello all! Here's a little background on me. I have a single 10 gallon aquarium that I have had set up for a year as a species tank with nothing but neons and some shrimp in it. It has regular aquarium sand, stock lighting and an AC30 HOB filter. I have been growing the basic plants, Java Fern, Anubias and an Amazon Sword without problems in this tank for a year using root tabs and a once a week dosing of Seachem Flourish.
I just scored a beautiful 80 gallon tank out of my local classified ads and I would like to set it up as a low-med light planted tank with denison barbs, cories and maybe a school of some sort of tetra or rasbora. I am going to use black diamond blasting sand as the substrate.
I have been spending the last couple evenings buffing scratches out of the new 80 gallon using cerium oxide. Once that's done I'll be setting it up to begin a fishless cycle. I am using a canister filter rated for 100 gallons and an AC110 HOB.
I am going to purchase this light
The reason why is that I want to have the option in a year or so to transition this into a high light, CO2 tank without having to purchase a new light fixture. For the time being I will only have 2 of the T5 bulbs on at any one time so as not to provide too much light to the plants.
So for my questions now. I have seen several places online that sell plant packs. It has like 30 - 40 plants in the pack for $99 and they are advertised to be low - med light plants.
Is this the best way to go about getting plants for a brand new tank like this? Are there other, less expensive ways to get plants?
I am interested in possibly growing some sort of grass-like carpet in part of the tank and I also really want some nice floating plants.
Do you have any recommendations for plants that would thrive in my tank? Are there plants that will grow tall in these conditions and really fill in the background of my aquascape?
Is there anything about my setup that sounds like I should change or tweak it to accomodate the plants?
Thanks for taking the time to read and give your advice!