It's a 24-gallon "nanocube" tank, primarily designed for reef aquariums. I'm going to use it for a freshwater community tank, though. The stock lighting is two 36-watt 50/50 10k/actinic lamps for 72 watts total. I don't like the actinic, so I'm going to try to find plain 7500k-ish lamps to swap in. I figure I can use 36 watt lamps (for 3 watts per gallon) or 24 watt lamps (for 2 watts per gallon), depending on what you guys recommend. I've read that as your wattage goes higher, CO2
becomes mandatory, so maybe 48 total watts would be better for me?
I'm going to use a 1" deep layer of 3M ColorQuartz S-grade sand. This is fine-grained smooth sand that is inert (it's coated in ceramic). I'm not going to put fluorite or laterite under it, and I'm not going to use eco-complete or other such stuff. 3M colorquartz only
. I am, however, willing to push fertilizer tabs/sticks into plant roots from time to time.
I figure I want 3 kinds of plants.
A. Floating plants to make shade: hornwort, and water sprite.
B. Low-light plants to put in the shady areas of the bottom: anubias in the deepest shade, and java fern in partial shade.
C. Moderate-light plants to put in unshaded areas of the bottom: maybe a "planted" water sprite? Any suggestions for a tallish plant for this profile?
I'm also going to have a driftwood centerpiece with some java moss attached.
1. Considering my lighting, substrate, and lack of CO2
, am I being too optimistic with the amount of plants I want to grow?
2. Are these good plant choices?
3. What would YOU put in the unshaded areas of the bottom? I love the look of moneywort and of corkscrew vallisneria, but I'm doubting I'll have enough light for either of those.