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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK. Did a test bottle with 2 cups soil and 2 cups flourite cap to see what the soil would do. Been sitting for a week. It didn't add ammonia to the water nor remove the ammonia I added (testing if there was any nitrification from just the soil). It definitely lowered the PH, but as I used my tap water which starts with a high PH and very low KH (wasn't thinking when I set it up), I am not getting a good read on how much it will affect the PH in my mineralized RO water.

Having said that, I am hoping to get a better read on what are the right plants to use. A quote from Halstad's book:

"Soil coupled with inappropriate lighting and / or unsuitable plants can be a disaster."

Lighting: The tank is small with a 14" width. That really limits the lighting options. The only lights that will fit this tank are made by Finnex, who make an LED plant light with a wavelength of 7000K and red LED's at 660. The light is 11.5 Watt rated, and will be Velcroed to the bookshelf above the tank, giving 3" of clearance from light to water surface. Distance between light and substrate is 10.5 inches.

As I will be floating plants in the NPT, likely wisteria, frogbit and duckweed (giant duckweed if I can find some), and can't help but wonder if the filtering effect will negatively affect the plants growing below.

Would it be more advantageous to get an 18" LED light (say marineland double bright LED) which operates at a wavelength of 6500K and no red lights) or would that bee too much for this small tank?

Plants: As for plants, root feeders would be more advantageous than water column feeders. That being said, would plants like planted Water Sprite or Hornwort be a good choice in that regard or are they more water column feeders? I have very limited space so my choices have to be right.

In my mind, the total plant compliment to start with would be planted Water Sprite as the main plants, Val. Spiralis and Ludwigia Repens the secondary supporting plants. Other plants may include Crypts and maybe Microsword. Floating plants would be Wisterai and Frogbit definitely, Giant Duckweed (easier to manage).

Open to suggestions on a solid balance of plants that will do their thing with soil, enabling the soil to do its thing with the plants and aquarium as a whole.
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