I see your fish keeps rioting for better living conditions, good for them! [smilie=n:
[B]The soil:[/B] I used Home Depot soil and followed this method
. Instantly I've noticed huge difference in the plant growth, colors and absence of algae. Also I had almost no ammonia spike and that was great! I would do it again, even though I had to do it in my livingroom. I do have a little less then 1" layer of it.
I've noticed my links don't always functioning any more. In this case here is the link to the article about this method.
If this is still not opening, you can find it in General Interest Forum- Library-How to: mineralize soil substrate, by Aaron Talbot.
The big one is about 5" and the little one is about 4.4", and I think they actually started to grow again after they moved into 50 gal!
this is something undefinate. I do have two T5 HO light fixtures, 39w x 2 for about 8 hours a day and another one 24w x 2 for occasional blast. But I don't really follow this schedule, and as a result of it they get much less of the light. I have lots of floaters so it diffuses the light even more.
I don't regret putting my fish in this tank at all. They do great and they are fun to watch. Plus now they look so healthy and happy, and it is another nice thing to see.
I had a list of plants I used, and I can add to it that Japonica Blyxa became their favorite delicates, but other then that, everything else stays intact. Occasionally H.P. rips out some HC, but this is really nothing compare to what I was promised.
I let everything root in really well before the fish went in, and this was pretty wise idea.
Here is another useful link about goldies and some people have planted tanks, but this forum really makes me cry because I had no idea of how badly I've treated my fish in the past. Just like it happened to you, if I only knew what I was getting into with these guys!
So here it is, but I always need my handkerchief ready when I read it.