mowgli wrote:water filtration and water quality/changes etc.
Sorry for the delay, the tank was pretty easy to get setup. It was worth it to get better equipment with some aspects of the tank. Its like a freshwater reeftank.
one H.O.T. Magnum filter. basically a hang on tank (HOT) filter that was rated for around 250 gals and hour. Way to powerful for the aquarium and most fish but that can be modified to fit the needs of the plants, the whole reason for the tank. Much like a reef tank your building that perfect environment and then stocking around that most of the time. This filter will run you around $80 but you can probably find a used one craigslist and easy get spare parts. I can send them to you if you can get them. The filter cartridge was the pleated type, i think it was 10 microns, it polished the water.
A 65w PC 6700K day bulb running about 8-9 hours a day to keep down on algea. I have recently had great success with using a couple LEDs to fit the spectrum needed. Store bought from hardware and aquarium stores. You can make the fixture more streamline and it uses less watts. Yet again you can probably get one of these as a retro fit kit for cheap or used. $50-100
Not so crazy but worth it. Seachem, aquarium products sells a gravel called Flourite. Good stuff, less fertilizing and buying chemicals. Takashi Amano takes it to a different level when it comes to gravel but Flourite even mixed with regular washed gravel is good. Sand can be a nightmare for your filter and wallet. Try and stay away from it.
Also, CO2, injected via tubing and a bubble wall (conveniently sold as a whole package, Nutrafin might be the company) or air hose connected to the intake of the filter, so the impeller breaks the bubble into smaller more plant usable bubbles. Either method works great. The system is propelled by a small chamber you mix yeast and sugar into. Set it on top of the light and the heat from the ballast will cause the reaction between the yeast and sugar and water mix to take place faster during the day time, CO2 time, and less at night, O time. This is the key factor between your lighting and setup. One alone will not make the environment click. don't plan on using that much CO2 if your not going to be running high powered lighting/or high light plants. Most of your red colorations fall into this category. Most of the plants you get are going to be 'marginal' plants that in essence need the CO2. there is about 1/50 the CO2 in water that there is in air.
Hope we're good to grow Mowgli! Keep me posted