I have been looking through the threads on here and I read rex's planted aquarium guide. I'm a little worried.
I am wanting to start a planted tank, but rex's guide is a little intimidating. I dont want to step into something that I am not going to be able to afford .
I have a new 75g tank with some rosy reds in it and a bio-wheel filter and that is all. No substrate or anything yet. It has a hood that came with it. If you read my other thread, my son has finally given up on "fish that eat other fish" and I have talked him into some loaches and some smaller active fish with similar PH preferences and who are plant friendly.
I understand that I will need some special substrate and different light bulbs. Do I need new fixtures or just different bulbs?
Also rex's guide was a bit scary...do I need an expensive filter, CO2 tanks, and a nuclear reactor providing light?
I understand that all these things are good to have, but I am wondering can I just get some plants growing that will do okay without all the fancy stuff, just some plant type bulbs, plant substrate, and fertilizer? I just want them to grow and stay alive, I dont care about lightning fast growth or trying to sell them or anything. As with everyone else I'm sure, money is limited. I am not wanting to cheap out on good things for the tank, but the guide doesnt really make it clear if some of the stuff is in the 'nice to have but not life or death' category.
I also understand that each plant has its own needs and so forth, are there any plants that y'all could recommend that would be easy on a beginner in the plant world and that would do okay in an 'on a budget' setup? I would like to do a short lawn type plant in front, I like the looks of pygmy chain sword (but dont know how difficult it is to keep and make grow), and some medium and taller plants toward the back. Also I have a lot of driftwood that I have collected and I think some moss on it would look pretty sharp and my understanding is that the moss is easy and undemanding.
Sorry for so many questions, I have been trying to do research and learn on my own, but most of information I look at doesnt go too deep into how easy they are for a beginner to keep, and of course I dont want a tank full of just one plant just because its easy.