Filter/Flow/Filter Media/Lighting Questions
Hello all, I am a new member and have been dabbling into planted aquariums for a little while now. In June I decided to go full throttle into the hobby. I will list a rundown of all items included in my set up
aqueon 50 filter
finnex fugeray planted+ light
caribsea plant substrate
3x driftwood pieces
-2x long finned serpae tetra
-3x black phantom tetra
-1x german blue ram
-1x red finned shark
-1x marbled angel
-2x peppered cory
Now to brass tacks. My struggle has been created by a growing knowledge base. I now know much more than i did to start (obviously) and have been diving into diy filter adjustments. However, i am torn on what to do about filters. My filter now is fine, and seems to work decently well. I have done more research in the filter area and it seems as if the AC line is much preferred to anything in the HOB category. I do not have a real desire to go to canister because of space mostly. Now, i have been doing some diy filter media and purchased some floss and purigen, to clear up the tannins, as well as blue sponge material. I want to get rid of the cartridge junk for a more customizable set up, but am not sure how to go about it with the aqueon filter. Right now, i have the cartridge sans carbon with floss in the back left and blue sponge behind the cartridge, and the purigen in front of the cartridge before the water flows into the tank. After the intro of the purigen my tannins reduced dramatically which really helps the aesthetics. However, I just would like more input on what to do with filtering to maximize the potential of a fully planted tank like i have. I would consider my tank moderately planted focused mainly on the sides and back of the tank and scattered more thoroughly on the right side with 3 pieces of driftwood in the middle/left. So for part one, i would greatly appreciate guidance into what to do for filtration and if i should swap out to an AC 70 or keep what i have and adjust the filter media somehow.
Part two. Flow. Flow seems to be a problem in my tank because i have a few dead spots in the bank right of the tank. This is mostly because my filter is placed slightly off center to the left. I was wondering if a powerhead, or connecting to the previous section, and new filter would benefit my tank to make sure all nutrients flow to all parts of my tank. So my questions here i guess would ultimately tie to the last section. What would my best decision be here regarding flow in my tank and dead spots?
Part three. Also connected to the last two sections is filter media. What does everyone recommend using/doing as far as a filter set up? Should i be using anything differently than i have been?
Part four. Lighting has been a spot of contention in my mind. I started out life with this take by using a coralife t5ho set up with a 6700/colormax combo. It seemed as if my plants were slowing fading off and not growing a whole lot. I recently purchased the fugeray planted+ and it definitely has made a brightness difference. However, it seems to be causing more brown algae than before. Quite a few of my plants are covered in this brown algae that i can scrub off but keeps coming back. Now though, it has made its way onto the substrate. I am wondering what to do here in any way to help my plants grow the best and to keep algae from taking over my plants?
Below are some current pictures with the purigen, and the new finnex light taken about a week ago.
Thank you for every comment and all of your input i really appreciate everyone helping me to better my plants and fish to help them enjoy their lives in their new home and to keep them growing and living a happy life.