For stem plants I cram them into the soil layer as far as I can-the sand is to hold the soil in place...with some I will use a small handful of grave or a big rock and just place on top of the stem and let them find their way into the soil...with rosette plants-like swords, vals, sags---I cram them into the soil and then give a slight tug to bring the crown slightly above the sand line-so it doesn't rot and die...rhizome plants I either tie to something or place some gravel over the roots if they have any-leaving the rhizome above the soil/sand
Things are starting to come together here. My twin tube light is on its way, heater, test kit are ordered.
Also ordered plants and 7 MTS.
The plants are: Let me know if I missed any
Wisteria, parrot feather, rosafolia, marble queen sword, dwarf baby tears, marsilea quadrifolia (looks like a shamrock sorta), anubias barteri var nana, spiralis italian val, corkscrew val, capuronii aponogeton, crypts are balanese, undulata and bendtii, java fern, dwarf onion and pennywort.
I still need to get sand and dirt.
I have Miracle-Gro garden soil if that will work only need sand, if not will pick up other soil
I would double check the potting soil...by the label I can see....it may have added ferts "Feeds 3 months" and you don't want that....
Your plants-I don't know most of them, however, some that I do know are not the best to start NPT with....crypts, apons nice plants for the long term but can be sensitive, delicate and may melt-but usually will come back-don't plant too deep...you have to be careful of too colorful plants-they usually will not hold the color due to limited light and injected CO2 needs and may not grow the way you want...you could do a dry start method and they may do better........I don't want to sound discouraging or anything....
Is there a difference between using potting soil or using substrate meant for plants (aside from price)? I'm using Seachem Fluorite but if potting soil is better then I'll use that for the next tank I plant (which will hopefully be a 29g).
Thanks OFL, I'll just pick up a bag of nothing added topsoil when I get my sand. That miracle-gro stuff is leftover bag from out summer plants and yes it has some kind of plant food in it. The plants are coming from sweetaquatics and some of them didn't have the common name listed. I'll just plant as planned, if some die, I'll just buy something else. There is only 1 or 2 plants that are not green and they are green and reddish. I spent so long looking at so many plants I don't even remember what the ones I ordered actually are. I know I did try and get the ones that were the lowest difficulty and/or labeled easy for beginners. Can't get much more beginner than me :)
With plant lights- bigger isn't always better, however, the bulbs you have may also work-they are not ideal....but I would try them for a month at least....I give 6500k because this is most like the sun color temp....or I would add 1-6500k and 1-8000k....it might give a better look for your eyes since this is a twin tube strip.....