I'm not 100% new to planted tanks, but when hubby and I had one at our old place I didn't bother to test my water, fool around overmuch with fertilizers etc. The plants were doing pretty well, so everything couldn't have been *too* off. Even the madagascar lace was happy.
Anyway, we dismantled that one due to moving, and now we're ready to start over. Hubby is going to do his own thing, and I've got a small 3.5 gallon Do!Aqua (12" x 7" x 9.5") coming in next week with some Amazonia II soil and Green Brighty (step 1). I also ordered tourmaline bc and multi bottom ada products. Filtration is DIY and will be using seachem purigen and fluval c2 poly/foam pads. I plan on seeding at first with Microbe-Lift special blend since both my filter and substrate will be new for all intents and purposes, and I'm not using bio filtration media anyway. As to the lighting, I plan on building something, but in the meantime will be using a 26 watt 6400K spiral CFL no more than a foot or so from the substrate (it's a small tank)...I also plan on buying a proper CO2 cartridge injection system, but will likely be doing DIY in the meantime.
I took a reading off of my filtered tap water as follows (using a 5-in-1 test strip color guesstimation)
I plan on putting in some petite anubias and dwarf hairgrass, but I'm letting the carpet grow out before I plant anything else (which will be mosses). I KNOW I'm going to have a few glofish, but I won't add them for another month at least...anything else is up in the air.
Given the above info, WWYD?
I think I need to raise the hardness of my water a bit, but I think I'll be ok on fertilization for a while. How much CO2 should I be adding? Like I said, any input or advice is appreciated