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Hello everyone I am going to be doing a diy nano planted tank and was looking for some input on some things. First the tank will be about 14x12x12 I was wondering what people thought for lighting the tank cfls, fluorescent, or LEDs and maybe some products. Second is substrate, I currently have black flourish sand in my 29G and I'm not the biggest fan due to how light it is and getting sucked up while cleaning. Next is planting I am looking to carpet maybe baby dwarf tears and I'm not sure about the rest. Live stock I'm still thinking maybe a few red barbs. The filter I don't want anything hanging because it will be rimless so I'm thinking canister. Any suggestions would be appreciated, I will be doing a journal on on the build of the stand, tank, and possibly the light if I go cfl or fluorescent.
 

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I have found that most of the eco complete, ada amazonia, etc. subtrates tend to be relatively light and can get mixed up when cleaning. The alternative is gravel which won't get sucked up but I find that it doesn't look as good and it obviously has the issue of not providing substantial nutrients to your plants.

Baby dwarf tears tend to do better with medium - high light, the range at which t5 lighting is preferred. However, finding t5 bulbs that fit a 14 x 12 x 12 aquarium without sticking over the side will be difficult. At this point you will likely go to LEDs. I don't have any recommend LEDs specifically but I can tell you upfront they will likely be more expensive than fluorescent bulbs but have much lower electricity usage, which will lower costs over the long run.

Bump: I have found that most of the eco complete, ada amazonia, etc. subtrates tend to be relatively light and can get mixed up when cleaning. The alternative is gravel which won't get sucked up but I find that it doesn't look as good and it obviously has the issue of not providing substantial nutrients to your plants.

Baby dwarf tears tend to do better with medium - high light, the range at which t5 lighting is preferred. However, finding t5 bulbs that fit a 14 x 12 x 12 aquarium without sticking over the side will be difficult. At this point you will likely go to LEDs. I don't have any recommend LEDs specifically but I can tell you upfront they will likely be more expensive than fluorescent bulbs but have much lower electricity usage, which will lower costs over the long run.
 
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