Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Champaign, Illinois
First, thanks OFL for your advice! I now have a 10-day old, dirted 20G long tank that's happily growing with plants that are probably a day out from some dividing and pruning.
As for floating plants, I like water sprites (ceratopteris thalictroides) because of how easy they are to care for and because they grow in the same kind of slow to still-moving water conditions that bettas are typically known for. Two days after I planted my water sprite, it had started sending out new roots.
Salvinia is another good floating plant that is easy to care for and good at absorbing excess nutrients.
As for my light, I also thought about removing the plastic (acrylic) cover, but optically, acrylic doesn't really inhibit the transmission of UV light. In comparison, clean glass hoods absorb about 5% of the light the plants need so it really comes down to how much you want to deal with cleaning them and how much you care about 5% extra growing light.
OFL, one question I have is about filtration. I recall you mentioning that you used your filter for water movement, but I can't remember if you said to use the standard carbon inserts also. It seems like that would filter out all of the things that the plants want, so I only have the sponge in my filter to provide my beneficial bacteria somewhere to grow.
Did I remember your advice right? A salesperson at Aquarium Adventure told me otherwise and they're supposed to have been through classes before they hit the sales floor, which is making me second guess myself.