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[APD] new on the block

Hi all, merry seasonal holiday of your choosing, and happy upcomign newyear.

I'm new to this list, and new to the hobby of planted aquariums.  I love all
ecosystem hobbies, and have been involved in the keeping of herps (reptiles
and amphibians) for years.   Since I started working at fish stores (4 years
ago), my interest has been peeked by "Amano style" planted aquaria.  I have
a 29 gallon that I'd love to turn into a planted paradise.  I have been
reading up, and have a pretty good idea about what I'd like to do, but some
questions remain, and I'd like general opinions on my plans.

The lighting is 165 watts of 6700K cf (in a fan ventilated canopy), the
filtration is provided by an Ehiem 2213 canister.  CO2 is provided by a  DIY
2 L fermentation chamber, and dissolved by a DIY external reactor like this
one: http://www.aquaticscape.com/articles/co2reactor.htm.

I'm planning to use a top layer of Sea Chem Flourite (about 3") and a thin
bottom layer of Red Sea Flora Base (about 1").  Are there other substrate
additives I should consider?  I read that the Flora Base is "supposed" to be
changed every year... marketing hype, or reality?  Should I even mix these
two (they both seem good, but in there own very specific ways, which is why
I thought of stratifying them).  How about the depth I'm talking about...

I'll be using microsword as my foreground "lawn", probably some Vals for
height, and I really like Anubias and Ludwigia for mid/back foliage.  I'm
still working on my plant selection, but I hope these few will be a good
start while I get this thank cycled.

I'm going to cycle with 3 serpae tetras.  Once cycled, I'd like to add a
couple more serpaes, a school of 6 marbled hatchets, 3 glass catfish (love
them!), 2 yo-yo loaches, and a few amano shrimp and siamensis.  I feel that
with enough plants, the large canister filter, high lighting, and the CO2
I'm using, even this hefty load (added slowly) will not be too large for
this smallish tank... thoughts?  Oh, do you think the glass cats (only about
2" long now) will try to eat the shrimp?

I'll be decorating with lace rock and Malaysian drift wood... any reason to
choose my aquascape materials differently?

Sorry for all the questions and my blabbering on... just a lot to think
about and plan before I jump into this.


"With great power, Comes great responsibility"


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