So I ended up buying seachem fluorite black for my substrate, it came in 3 sizes, sand, small gravel, and larger gravel, I opted for the small gravel look, so far I am liking the look it gives. I put the entire 7KG bag in my 8 gallon tank, so it gives it a nice base, around 2.5" at the front, 3.5" at the rear, nice and deep for future plant root growth. I did not rinse it, from reading the bag instructions it said you can, but is not necessary, but wow did the tank ever cloud up when I added the water. Once I added the water, I treated it with seachem prime, and switched on the pump to let the filters try to clear up the cloudiness, as of this morning, the tank was still very cloudy, this is currently where I sit.
-will the cloudiness clear up eventually? should I not be running the filter?
-was this a good substrate choice for planted tanks? Does it restrict you with any kind of invertabrites? I figured it was the best happy medium.
After the cloudiness clears up, I wanted to start the cycle, this is where a few of my other questions come in.
-I could not find pure ammonia at the shop like what was specified in the fishless cycling sticky, so I picked up some aquarium pharmaceuticals stress zyme with live bacteria, it has directions on the bottle for a fishless cycle, where you add amounts on the first, 7th, and 14th day, and monitor and test it similar to what was outlined in the fishless cycling sticky, is this the same thing?
-I had 2 master test kits to choose from, tetra laborett test kit, which came with everything, including some saltwater
testing, and a red sea fresh
/plant kit which came with 2 tests for PH (low values and high values) Nitrites, and Ammonia. I chose the red sea test kit, the other one looked cheap, was this a good choice? I have heard of some test kits are pretty useless, and want to be sure to start on the right foot. I guess I will have to pick up a nitrates test as well pretty soon.