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Well i have tried many different posts in many different threads without getting the results I expected. Maybe i'm not giving enough information or asking stupid questions but here it goes....

i recently purchased a 30 gallon aquarium with a 25 W flourescent light. basically just one of those oak colored ones with one bulb. realizing this is not enough light for plants, i am purchasing another one of the same to boost to 50-55W. this may not be the best idea, but its the most cost effective. i currently have some elodea which is doing great with just the 25 W of light. i have looked at many set ups and decided that i like the Iwagumi type set up with the rocks. so here are the questions:

1) Does 50W in a 30 gallon (1.66 W/Gallon) classify as a low light, moderate light, or strong light aquarium?

2) Can i keep cories with HC ground cover? Will HC grow in these lighting conditions? What other plants would be good for this kind of lighting?

3) Will i benefit by using CO2 in this tank? Will it give me better results? because i plan to do a DIY set up.

4) What are the best rocks to use for an Iwagumi tank and does anyone have a "guide" to doing this type of tank? Also, where is the best place to find these rocks because my LFS does not have much.

5) I currently have regular black sand as substrate, but i want to add 20 more lbs of sand as i have about 20 pounds in there now. Should i add regular sand or is there a good substrate to use?

6) What would be good to use for a background? I am considering just a regular black posterboard as a background. I may also get white or blue so i can switch it up from time to time.

7) Are fertilizers necessary?

I think that's it. Please leave some comments. Even if you only have a comment for a specific question, that's fine. I just want to get a lot of different insight and opinions. Please help me out!!!
 

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1. moderately low, I think.
3. Yes. Although DIY CO2 is rather challenging and unstable. Do yourself a favor and get a pressurized system.
6. Black is good- I don't think you'll like white. i used cork sheets for a while which i liked, but black ended up looking the best.
7.YES!!! I wish it wasn't the case...
 

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Ara,

First, there are no stupid questions. The stupid questions are the ones that aren't asked.

Can you post some pictures and provide the specs of the tank (dimensions, filter, substrate, etc.)?

1) Does 50W in a 30 gallon (1.66 W/Gallon) classify as a low light, moderate light, or strong light aquarium?
Based on your description, I'm thinking that this is a T8 bulb. If you're thinking about getting another light, I'd recommend that you buy a T5HO where you'll get the most bang for the buck. You can either do it yourself or can buy a single or a dual strip. Think about Hagen GLO T5 HO that fits your aquarium dimensions and go for the Giesemann Midday (if single) or a Midday and an Aquaflora bulb(s).
2) Can i keep cories with HC ground cover? Will HC grow in these lighting conditions? What other plants would be good for this kind of lighting?
Not too sure about the regular ones but dwarf cories will be fine. You've mentioned HC which is needs high light. In this case, I'd surely recomend that you go for the T5 HO light and not the regular fluorescent lights.
3) Will i benefit by using CO2 in this tank? Will it give me better results? because i plan to do a DIY set up.
Absolutely. HC will benefit a lot by using CO2. You will surely do better with CO2.
4) What are the best rocks to use for an Iwagumi tank and does anyone have a "guide" to doing this type of tank? Also, where is the best place to find these rocks because my LFS does not have much.
If you're interested in doing Iwagumi style aquascape, you may be interested in the rocks at Aqua Forest Aquarium as they suit the style very well.
5) I currently have regular black sand as substrate, but i want to add 20 more lbs of sand as i have about 20 pounds in there now. Should i add regular sand or is there a good substrate to use?
What substrate is it? Make sure that the substrate has nutrients for the plants you're growing. If it's plain sand, you may run into a lot of difficulty. Use good substrate now as you will not have to keep messing with it later. Check the same site shown above for substrates also.
6) What would be good to use for a background? I am considering just a regular black posterboard as a background. I may also get white or blue so i can switch it up from time to time.
This is just a matter of how you want it to look. A lot of people leave it without any background and against a plain wall. Just a matter of your taste. Check out different Iwagumi scape pictures and that may give you an idea.
7) Are fertilizers necessary?
Depends on the type of substrate you use and the $$$ you want to spend. The ADA substrates are expensive but gives you a better chance of success if you're new to this. Fertilizing will change based on time and the need for the plants. I'd recomend you to the fertilizer section of this forum for you to read.
Good Luck with your atempt and should you stumble into issues, don't fret over it, just keep going. You'll learn a lot along the way which will better equip you with facing the issues that crop up along the way.

regards,
Ravi

 
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