Planted tank and direct sunlight... possible?
Hello, and thank you so much for your time.
I am new to aquarium keeping, but have been doing so much research to attempt to figure out what is best. However, it is difficult to find clear answers to some questions. I have numbered my questions throughout if youíd like to skip my explanations and get straight to the point, but really any help here is so appreciated.
First, let me tell you the situation of my tank now. The aquarium I purchased is the Top Fin Retreat Five Gallon Aquarium. I purchased it used, but in great condition. Iíve only had it a couple of days, and so far Iíve basically done nothing with it. I have added rocks and a thermometer and thatís it.
This tank comes with a pump/filter (I had to purchase new cartridges and they should be coming in tomorrow, hopefully theyíre the right size/type/whatever as I couldnít find that anywhere online either) and it came with a light for the top.
That being said, I want to start just with some plants in my tank. So my first question is, (1) are plants able to live without also having fish in the tank?
Also, I plan to and am set on keeping my tank in the window sill. Aesthetic is essential here, as I have a beautiful view out this window that I do not want it blocking. Thus, Iím really not a fan of the light on the top.
In this window, the tank will receive basically constant direct sunlight. So, (2) is a light even necessary to have when there is sunlight? I know the main issues with direct sunlight are algae and temperature. Iím just baffled that I canít find solutions to these issues. (3) Are there not things you can put in the tank to eat the algae and a way to cool a tank?
I mainly worry about the temperature issue, as I do live in Florida where it is quite hot. Right now it is evening, I did just set up the tank, but the thermometer is reading 84 F. (4) Can anyone tell me a way to cool the tank (besides these ugly fans that go on the top) for when I do decide to put fish in?
What I have put in the bottom of my tank are a bit larger sort of rocks/gravel. (5) Are there any plants that will grow in this alone, or do I need to add some sort of soil? (6) If I donít need to add soil, what kinds of plants can I grow without? (7) If I do, what kind of soil should I use?
(8) If I am going to be growing live plants in my tank, do I also need an aerator? (9) Is there any other equipment I should consider?
(10)I would LOVE to create one of those ďtreesĒ with wood and moss, so any tips on that would also be great.
(11) Should I go ahead and add some snails or something for algae control?