Hi everyone I'm Jim, the new guy
I'm just embarking on my first properly planted tank and have been doing lots of reading along with shopping for parts. I've got a few questions I'm hoping you can all help me with, so it's probably best I start with the setup I've compiled:
-120L tank with external Boyu EF200 canister filter.
-Fertilised sustrate (about 3cm deep) with 10cm of sand on top
- 2x 24w T5 Juwel lights
- 1x 100+LED super bright aquarium light (apparently quite good on its own!)
- 5KG co2 fire extinguisher with a DIY valve setup which seems to work quite well at controlling bubble count
- Boyu ceramic diffuser (looks a bit like a smokers pipe).
I'm planning on having a carpet of dwarf hairgrass along with various background plants and was hoping you could answer the following:
1) What is an ideal depth for the substrate? I read somewhere that plants don't like it too deep.
2) How many hours a day should I keep the lights on for?
3) As my CO2 setup doesn't have a solenoid for switching it off I was planning on either:
a) Manually locking the handle down during the day and taking it off at night - but I'm not sure if the handle of a fire extingisher has a finite number of presses?
b) Running the CO2 24/7
4) I hear that an airstone can be beneficial at night? I imagine if i'm injecting co2 24/7 this may also be helpful at replenishing some of the o2 in the tank for the fish?
5) I'm wondering how best to inject the co2:
a) Position a ceramic diffuser directly below the intake
b) Inject the co2 directly into the intake without a diffuser
c) Get a reactor
...and would these methods also benefit if I were to use a submerged spraybar pointing downwards towards the plants.