Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Oil City PA. USA
There are many different substrates I have always used a mix of sand and very small pebbles. I add plant tabs and supplement with SeaChem Flourish. Some use Florite which I find quite messy and I don't like the way they changed their product in the past few years . I used it about 8 years ago and I thought it was great but there has been a change. I got a 15 lb bag a few months ago and put it into a new startup 5.5 tank. It was a total disaster. I washed it for over an hour and placed it in the tank. it looked like I put potting soil in and mixed it up. I drained the tank and washed it some more with the same results. I left it sit for 48 hours to clear and changed the filter. when I went to plant just the slightest movement caused a cloud. I emptied the tank in the drive way and that's where that product is today. Really the best and cheapest I have found is either White playground sand or black blasting sand. Add plant tabs and use Flourish and the plants will thrive.
The LED strip is a good idea and will give you low to medium lighting. So pick your plants accordingly. Beware most plants that like medium to high lighting will need CO2. API has a liquid CO2 that works well Or you could spend quite a bit on infusers. I choose the API and don't have any problems with my plants.
The choice of plants is up to you but in a 29 gal. try a few banana plants I love the way they grow and when they reach the surface and the leaves spread out they are amazing plants. Do as much home work as you can on your plants find out what their needs are and things will be fine.