Ok, first things first. I am new to this. I had an 8-10gal aquarium when I was younger, but my interest in fish was sparked again when my secretary talked me into a 10g for the office last summer. I now have a 5 gal on a book shelf at home (about 3 months now). I want a bigger tank!! Now for the questions.
1. I was looking at a Top Fin brand 26 gallon (maybe it was 28, its not on the website) bowfront tank kit at petsmart. It comes with a filter, heater, hood, light and some other misc. stuff. It was on sale for $100ish. Is this a good quality tank?
I could upgrade the components as i see fit but would like to start with something that isnt going to fall apart.
2. Can i use sand and gravel as substrate separately? I was thinking light colored sand and grey/black Eco-Complete would be a nice contrast. Eco-complete where the plants will be rooted and sand for the bare areas. Will this work or will the sand and Eco become muddled together? Sand across the bottom and eco over the top in the areas i want, or separate through the entire depth?
3. I would like to change the topography of the bottom. How? Is it ok to use sand/gravel to build up the high areas (6-8") or something else covered with sand/gravel?
Thanks for the help. Im sure I'll have more questions as I go.