In it a fit of bravery or madness, I decided to add more live plants to my 75-litre tank and because it had got to the stage where the plastic plants looked horrible compared to the real ones, I pulled all of the plastic plants out, so now I've only live ones in there.
I've got vallisneria, ambulia, a sword of some sort (I was told it was low-growing), a water sprite, and java moss.
The lights are what came with the tank, an aqua one AR-510. They are labelled PL-11W red/white and are compact fluorescent tubes.
I've read about getting a comprehensive fertilizer (but haven't been able to find one here - yet). I've only got Leaf Zone, which I note Byron doesn't recommend.
I'm hoping that the plants will grow, so I've planted them relatively sparsely (probably still too much, but I figure that I can always pull stuff out). As a consequence, there is less "stuff" in the tank for the fish to hide out in. Will this be an issue for them? Should I stick more stuff (more live plants or put some plastic ones back in) in immediately? There's still a lot going on on the substrate, it's just the middle and top of the water which hasn't as much in it as it did before.
If the whole thing is a disaster waiting to happen, what are the signs of things going horribly wrong? Anything to look out for?
Finally, about vacuuming the gravel. I obviously have to be careful not to uproot the plants, but do I still need to vacuum where I can, or do the plants need the muck in the gravel for their nutrients?
Thanks for any advice.