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First let me say this is a great site! What some of you out their are doing with nano freshwater tank is unreal.
Quick back round on me..I have kept fish since I was 7 (I am 25 know)but have not had a fish tank up and running since July when I got married, and its starting to get to me. I have kept every thing from piranha to a plated tetra tank (still my all time favorite tank.. it was way back when you could get a zebra pleco for $55) and I breed show guppies for a couple years after that Istarted to keep reef tanks regular and nano's.
So here is my question. I have left over from my last reef tank a 6.6 gallon tank witch you can see here
Fish.com

I was considering doing this a planted tank with a few fish and some shrimp. What I am concerned about is the following

1. When I got the tank I scraped the light I got and put on an 55 watt power compact..do you fell this is to much for the tank.
and
2. What do you think is the best kind of substrate to use in the tank..in the past I have used and have gotten great results with a combination of Seachem's Fluorite Gravel along with using Seachem Flourish. But I really don't want to get a huge bag of the stuff..any suggestions?
Thanks you for your time I hope to here some feedback soon.
Brian Ferriera
Middleburo, Ma.
 

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Have you consider Eco-Complete? With that kind of lighting, you ought to get ready for CO2 injection. If you have not bought that tank, my suggestion to you is to start in 10 gallon or 15 gallon size wise. Smaller tank tends to have more issues if you are not careful. Good Luck and please keep us up to date. Regards, JC.
 

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Yea, 55w is going to burn a hole through your plants. =P

Nah, since you're new to planted tanks, I'd drop it to max. 30 watts. You can put something opaque (some kind of mesh?) over the tank to prevent some light from getting in so you can use your existing fixture if you want.
 
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