Originally Posted by Silock
Will algae be a problem even if the tank is completely out of sunlight and only gets light from the lights? I'm putting it in the basement outside of the theater room, and there aren't any windows down there.
If not, what kind of grass can I get to grow on the bottom of the tank that isn't too difficult? Is there such a thing? If there isn't, then I'll have to learn a CO2 system, I guess. It's the only way my wife will sign off on the freshwater vs. saltwater (because it's the only way the tank looks "pretty" to her).
What do you mean by this?
Also noted. Liveaquaria says they're peaceful (Discus) and would get along, but I guess they're wrong.
What's the quietest option?
Algae can be a problem in any tank even w/o direct sunlight. The amount of light from your fixture can create an algae bloom. That's why you should run CO2 if you have a light fixture that puts out a lot of wattage. CO2 kills off the algae. If the algae gets out of control, your plants will be competing to get the nutrients and such that the algae is taking in to grow.
As far as an low-light alternative to Dwarf Hairgrass, I don't believe there is one. However, you could always plant patches of Java Moss throughout the substrate. Eventually it will spread and form a nice "carpet" effect. I saw a tank that had Java Moss everywhere and it was beautiful!
"What do you mean by this?" I was meaning that it would be best to start out w/ a low light setup at first, then upgrade your lighting fixture to support high light plants. You will need to dose fertilizers in order for your plants to really take-off and stay green, (even w/ a low light setup). I use Seachem Flourish, Trace, and Root Tabs. The Flourish & Trace are good for the majority of plants that feed from the water column. The Root Tabs are good if you have standard gravel or sand substrate and deep rooting plants like Amazon Swords.
As far as my opinion about the Discus, I'm going by other people's personal experience with them in their community tanks. Liveaquaria is pretty accurate in their info, so they might be "ok" w/ community fish. But from the stories I've read, I wouldn't trust any of those bastards in my tank.
If you're looking for a quiet filter, the best option would be to read reviews on pet supply sites. Just see what others are saying about them. Of course, you may not have the same experience. I just replaced my old HOB filter and got a Tetra Whisper EX70 HOB Filter. Many of the reviewers complained about a grinding noise, but mine is extremely quiet. It's really hit or miss, especially w/ HOB filters. I've never used a Canister filter, but many people love them.