Originally Posted by Aced
thanks for responding! I'll pick up that water conditioner ASAP and hope it works!
i have a 15 Watt Incandescent Bulb that came with the tank (not sure if I could put a different bulb in?) and plain gravel from petsmart..
Do you have the 2.5 gallon minibow? If so, yes, you can put in a compact fluorescent for plants--just be sure you don't accidentally get the 50/50 one for reefs (guess how I know to warn you about that
). The one I have is a 10 watt and a lot of plants are doing well (I pick ones that are either low light or medium light but described as easy to care for). If it's a different tank, then you'll have to compare the shape of the bulb to the space available.
If it's the minibow, they have arranged the filter so that it blocks some of the light. Very silly of them. I switched out filters, but that is annoying to have to do. I would suggest that you stick to low light plants if you keep that filter.
I'm using eco-complete substrate. Some plants won't like the gravel very much, but there are plenty of low-light plants, such as java ferns and anubias that you don't really bury into the substrate anyway, as well as all of the floating plants. i don't have enough experience to give you many specific suggestions, but there is a sticky here about easy plants and other forum members who can help you decide about specific plants. My planted tanks seem to be doing well, but I still consider them experiments at this point. The fish seem happy and the plants do an excellent job of helping to stabilize the water conditions.