Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
So, if I got on earlier I may have answered you earlier. I don't think 3+ hours is an unusual wait for answers from the forum, if you want something quicker than that maybe pick up the phone or go to the nearest knowleable LFS.
Now that's over with, some suggestions you were asking for.
Substrate - sand is fine, and dark is better (will show up red colour of the RCS more). Your plant choices - no root feeders so the substrate can be inert.
You can use a spiral fluorescent bulb, 13W to 19W in a brooder lamp from Home Depot or Lowes, not very expensive and bright enough if suspended within a couple inches from the top. Or use a desk lamp that has the socket fixed so the bulb can hang vertical and not sideways. If the socket is sideways get a 23W CFL. Daylight option (5000K or 6500K).
Sponge filter - lots of options, ATI hydro I have experience with, but as long as it's rated for 10+ gallons you should be ok.
Try and get the GH and KH of the water tested, at least you'll have an idea if your tap is way out of whack. pH not as crucial if GH and KH are on point.
Good luck with the project.
Daisy Mae V
According to my husband, I have a habit of jumping right in!
Last edited by Daisy Mae; 10-26-2015 at 12:29 AM.