I Moved and My Window is Making Me Want Plants! (Also, pH Issue)

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Jakezori

AC Members
Jan 24, 2009
997
2
18
Pennsylvania
Hello Aquatic Pals!

Long story short, I just moved into a new house, and the only decent spot for my aquarium is at the end of my hall. The “issue” is that a full-sized window shines directly on it (from about 15 feet away). The plan is to up my plant game and starve algae so I got a bunch of free floating plants (supposedly beginner plants) from someone I know. But in the long run, I figure this is a good opportunity to make a pretty planted tank.

Concerns: The pH out of my new tap is 8.2 and I have fine grain sand as a substrate. I’d rather correct the pH before putting into my tank so I don’t shock the little ones every time I do a water change. What’s the safest/easiest way to do this? In the short term, I got some API pH Down but I assume that’s not very sustainable. - For the substrate, my tentative plan is to keep a tiny layer of sand to keep bacteria and add some CaribSea Eco-Complete on top. Thoughts?


Tank info:

15-gallon tall
1 mid-sized otto. I bought 6 from the pet store and it turned out they had ich. Only one survived :-(
3 full-sized dwarf puffers (2f, 1m)



I’ve tried many times to feed the dwarf puffers snails to no avail. I’ve even given them multiple sizes and starved them for four days and they only eat blood worms. The result is me picking out MTS once or twice a week from the tank because they breed and the puffs won’t eat them. Anyway, this makes me want to try to get a nerite snail for waste/algae and see if they go at it. If the puffs nibble, I’ll give it back to my LFS. I may get some more ottos too.


Oh, I also got some Aquarium CoOp Easy Green All-in-One Fertilizer.


Would love some guidance all around! Floundering (no pun intended) because I have a lot going on right now in life and reading up on planted tanks has proved very confusing.
 

Jakezori

AC Members
Jan 24, 2009
997
2
18
Pennsylvania
Forgot to add my levels.
pH 7.8

Ammonia 0

Nitrites 0

Nitrates 0

KH125

GH 70

Phosphates 2
 
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