Mental battle of substrate..Help?
Long story short I want to cause myself chaotic hassle and upgrade my 5 gallon Mystic Waters to my 30 gallon. Since my move last year in October my 30 gallon has been sitting just being the storage of all unused fake decorations. I believe it would be called a 30 gallon breeder. It just seems taller and less wide than the normal 30 gallon tanks I see. Mystic Waters is a dark mystic set up. White mermaid, dark gravel, live plants..
The pic is during a full tank clean and redecorate day thats the decor im working with. Calisco and a dwarf mexican brazos crayfish are its current inhabitants. Calisco tends to hide toward the back on those days like in the pic. If I only do some simple tank maintenance though he doesnt both to hide. Thats why I think he might like the upgrade. Less bothering of him in a bigger tank. Plus the crayfish might feel safer. Its always hiding under the rock stack or in the back. I'm 80% sure theres only one crayfish. I say that because it tends to prove me wrong and another one randomly shows up. I'm not sure if there will be any more showing up though I honestly think its over for crayfish this time. But I've said it before and then its not..
Anyways the mental battle is all substrate and money lol. "I dont remember how much gravel it took." "I want to do soil substrate to help the plants.." "I still like the black gravel look but dang does soil and gravel both have to cost so much on amazon" XD Then that leads to the "Can't I just say screw this and use black sand" and then it goes back to "Sand doesnt provide much if no nutrients to the plants dumby" then it goes to the amount I might need not being known and so on and so forth...
I have a $70 limit. First off how much substrate should I be looking at? Pound wise I mean.
I'll be waiting to look at petsmart again see if they have anything at all if not I'll have to ask my mom to order it on amazon. I'm really hoping petsmart will though. So sand? All gravel? Or soil with a gravel top like I heard is best? If you have amazon links or pictures of the brands that would help a bunch. Theres alot of brands of both soil and sand.
I'm still hoping to save as much money as possible for a new filter..
Future plans include some sort of carpeting plant incase that would affect substrate type needed.
Also I have this plant as well I don't remember its name lol
Rest in peace:
Blaze, BBB, Liberty, Justice, Nymph Phlox