This is my second time working with a tank and my first time putting in the research to create a planted one. So I am the first to admit that I'm a total noob and am extremely susceptible to "opinion" which I find a great deal of on the topic. My biggest confusion is lighting. First I read "blue spectrum lighting" so I get Aquatic - Products
. Now I see that I need at least 2 watts / gal and this is only a 15 watt bulb in a 20 gal tank. The hood fixture only has a spot for 1 bulb and doesn't support anything higher than 15 watts. So, before I spend the money on a new light fixture I would like to get some advise based on what I have, have done and am looking to do.
At present I have a 20 gal tank (using the above mentioned light). I have placed a 1 bag of CaribSea FloraMax
as substrate topped with a few bags of gravel. I just finished getting DIY CO2 system working. It's connected to a bubble latter and the bubbles are almost completely dissolved before reaching the top of the ladder. Currently the tank only has a couple of plants that I picked up at PetsMart, before I did my research on the plants, and a few more appropriate for underwater. I have a couple of umbrella plants and some grass plants (not hair grass and I can't seem to find my information on the plant). After purchasing and planting I did some research and found that both types of plants are not for full submersion, but strangely all of them are alive after three months and the umbrellas have starting producing new chutes. I honestly expected them to be dead by now after I looked them up. I also have 1 anubius, 1 Amazon Sword and three water wisteria that I put in the tank 1 week ago. I currently have no fish, not until I complete the plant set up that I'm looking to do. I am dosing weekly with Flourish.
The plan: I am looking at something of a meadow set up. I've seen some pictures of some really nice aquariums with several tall plants and floaters as well. Though beautiful tanks, it's not what I'm looking to create. I like the idea of an open style theme with some tall plants in the back corners to give the tank more of a miniature world feel. So I'm looking at placing the larger plants in the back corners. Using dwarf hairgrass as the center back plants and carpeting the entire foreground with HC. I still anticipate the umbrella plants to go eventually so planning to put them along the sides next to the wisteria and sword.
I'm holding on ordering the HC and hairgrass until I have the lighting solution that will work for them. I have been looking at two lighting systems but I'm shooting in the dark and hoping you guys with more experience can help out. The ones I'm looking at are Odyssea T5 High Output Lighting
& Odyssea T5 High Output Lighting
I also have one more totally noob question. Neither of these actually fit to replace my existing hood. The current hood is 23" long by 4" wide. I need to maintain some sort of cover since I also have dogs, birds and cats with considerable dander getting everywhere. Not to mention I don't wants my little friends to be able to jump out when they get to their knew home. Any advice you guys can give on the matter would be greatly appreciated.