Sup folks! So I just snagged a 20g long at petsmart for 30$. I can get a simple latched glass lid for $18 for it, but I found a stand on craigslist that had a built in light and they sold it all to me for 60$ (hand made out of 2x4s, stained black) So I feel I made out good. Probably not as good as some deals, but it's pretty good for me.
Got all the basics to get me started for under 130$ (minus the substrate and plants and obviously the fish)
Got a Topfin 40 spraybar internal filter with bio ceramic things and carbon sponge filters. This should be high enough for the 20g long right? Haha, I don't want to over filter TOO much, but it has an adjustable flow rate so it shouldn't be strong. Pumps... 171g/hr i believe.
I'll be getting the.. fourite plant stuff and white sand for substrate. Haven't decided on plants or fish yet BUT I'm hoping you guys could answer some things for me, or at least just give me some tips/advice.
Though I got regular sponge filters without carbon in them because I wasn't sure if the carbon would stall my cycle (I'm using Seachem's Stability bottle because believe it or not I couldn't find any pure ammonia in any stores... weird right?) or effect other things. If this is just my paranoi and it's safe to leave in my filter, let me know :)
2ndly, I'm curioius about if there is anything I could do to naturally soften the water and lower the pH a bit. I know there is wood and... aquarium salt... uhm... peat moss, there was something else but I can't remember. I don't want to use chemicals or anything that I have to physically add because I want the ecosystem to just naturally do it itself so I won't have to worry about wonky spikes or anything. Or should I just leave it be? A lot of the fish I'm looking at like softer water and not quite as high of a pH as I have.
My pH out of the tap is 7.8.... yeah.... it's not as bad as it could have been but yeah... haha
Don't know my water softness/hardness, but I KNOW it's hard because I get serious hard water stains on the glass of my gecko tanks before which is why I switched to distilled water for spraying. (though I use spring water for their food and water) So anyone know where I could find a test kit for that? Or is it no big deal? I didn't really look for one at petsmart, would they have one?