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howdy all,
well lets give some quick background to atleast make myself feel a little bit better about being a total noob once again. I've Kept freshwater for just a bit over 7 years. largest tank is 180g with south americans. then i went to saltwater. ive done reef for several years now and have yet to hose 1 saltwater fish. which im very proud about from hearing all of the horror stories. and now im really interested in planted aquariums. i want to set up a 20H. i have a 24" 65w pc fixture with 6,700k bulb. its made my coralife. i cant afford the pressurized co2 with ph controller for awhile so id figure id DIY co2 it until i get the extra funds. now inlies the questions.... for a noob what substrate would you recommend and how much. also where do most get oak bogwood? i work for a LFS and its never been available. other then that i live in tucson and our tap water is 7.8 ph and 20ppm nitrates. i havent checked the hardness in awhile but its very hard water. would you recommend i use RO? apart from that if you could give me any killer links for info. thank you all very much
 

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Read my Guide.

If your tap water has a pH of 7.8° after sitting for 24 hours it's fine.

The Tucson Water Quality Report only shows 4.9 ppm of nitrates in the water. Might be time to test your test kit.
 

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Might want to try either Seachem flourite (inert substrate) or ADA's Amazonia which will drop the pH KH GH of the water. Many plants tend to grow much easier in soft water. Checkout Aquariumplants.com for some of the best flourite prices, shipped. Or Jeff Senske has ADA substrates at AquariumDesignGroup.com

Also, when you do go pressurized CO2, both Rex Grigg and Aquariumplants.com have two of the very best "all in one" regulator/solenoid/needle valves available.

ADA is Amano's Japanese Aquarium Equipment company. I also like looking at Drs. Foster and Smith website and they have great customer service. And some of the cheapest prices in the hobby are at Big Als online. HTH bob

AquariumPlants.com Largest online sales / service site for the live aquarium plants community.
Discount Aquarium Supplies, Tropical Fish Supplies and Fish Tank Supplies from Foster & Smith
Aquarium Design Group
Fish Supplies, Online Fish Supplies, Aquarium Products, Aquarium Accessories at Big Al's Online
 
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