I've been lurking around for the past couple of months reading and doing forum searches to answer my questions. I've read rexx's website and have read many past topics to help me get an introduction. I just need some verification on my setup before I buy plants and place a final order on lighting.
So here goes...
I have a 47-gallon cube tank. I will post measurements in the morning (too tired to now lol). However, the tank is fairly high and deep (at least 12 inches deeper than a standard 55 gallon).
The tank came with the same standard light fixture for a 10-gallon aquarium (I think it's 24"). I am on a budget (poor college student) and hope to keep lighting at or below 2 wpg and willing to go as far as 2.5 wpg. However, I will NOT be using CO2. The most I will do is at the Seachem or Marc Weiss liquid additives to supplement nutrients and CO2. I plan on purchasing the 24" Coralife Aqualight Single Compact Fluorescent Strip Lights @ 65 watts found here: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...04+2032+113345
Since my tank is so deep, if need be, I will buy those desktop compact fluorescent lights and shine 2 of them in from both left and right sides of the tank at approx. mid level to give a little more lighting. Does anyone know where I can get these fairly cheap (Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.)? Again, I don't plan on having so much wpg that I need CO2.
The substrate consists of 30 lbs of Seachem's Flourite and a half-inch top layer of normal aquarium gravel.
I plan on having medium-sized driftwood in the tank and attaching some plants to it.
For filtration I picked up a Fluval 304 on clearance for only $50!!! I am thinking about running a little bit of peat through it.
The tank will be stocked with 8 cardinal tetra, 5 clown loaches, and 4 angel fish.
My questions are:
1) What type of low-light/beginner plants do you all recommend?
I have heard that Amazon swords are good. I plan on having only one species of tall/large growing plants in the background, 2-3 species in the middle, and 2-3 species in the foreground. Hopefully, they can grow to be tall since my tank is deep. However, I really want to be sure that they will live in such lighting conditions. Eventually, I want to end up with as close as possible to a jungle as I can without a CO2 system.
2) Which of these beginner plants do I burying in substrate and which do I attach to driftwood?
3) Where can I buy these plants?
I really want to be able to just get them at Petsmart of a LFS.
3) In the foreground, I want to have the “carpet effect.” What kind of plants would be good foreground carpet plants and still grow in relatively low (2wpg) light and no injected CO2. Will micro swords work in this setup?
NOTE: I will use liquid supplements such at Marc Weiss’s Aquarium Vital.
4) Will desktop lights aimed at the mid level of the tank help give light/energy since my canopy fixture might not penetrate fully to the bottom for plants that don’t grow tall enough? Are they needed (the tank is pretty deep)?
5) Do the liquid supplements for CO2 such as Marc Weiss’ Aquarium Vital actually help?
To try an answer one of my own questions (#1), do Amazon swords, water sprites, crypts, java ferns, java moss, and micro sword (for grass effect) work in approx 2 wpg without CO2 injection? What else do you think works?
This is my "test" tank so I can gain enough experience to set up a 200 gallon planted discus tank later on with my father (since he will be providing the funds for this lol)
Thank you all for reading this, and I hope to enjoy this hobby for years to come!