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New setup query


I have a tank 1m x 40cm x 40cm recently bought to give more room to my stock fish. I used all the sand and filters from my old 60ltr tank to give immediate safe use for the fish. There's no problem there, all are fine and the water tests are all excellent. Without going into specifics the lighting is pretty strong.
However I really want a lush tank with appropriate vegetation for my fish. Sand just didn't work and most plants just withered and died. Naturally I therefore suffer lots of hair algae. Would it be OK to keep the sand which is really pretty shallow in depth now, and mix it with organic substrate?

My stock has been reduced in the last day. I have sold 7 really large Golden Barb as they sort of took over the tank. Not aggressive, just imposing. I'm left with 3 Galaxy Rasboroa which I intend to bring up to 8: 6 Amber Tetra: 8 Neon Tetra, 2 Rummynose: 3 Sterbai Corys and 1 small Bristlenose.

I have a good selection of filters. At present I use a small sponge filter at one end and an in-tank filter+heater from a Juwel 60ltr tank running at 78f, plus a small one with the filter medium taken out to give more water flow from end to end.
The tank has sliding glass panels on top so I guess a hang on the back filter system isn't possible? although I think I would prefer it.

I really want to plant this tank to give sufficient safety cover for breeding the Galaxy Rasboras. Problem is, initially at least, is that I have nowhere to transfer my fish to if I have to use potentially chemically intoxicating substrate. So whatever way I do this the substrate must be safe to fish already in the tank but with the best growth potential too.

I know I will probably find all I need to know in the forum by lots of reading but a running topic on what to do, how to do it and what other equipment I need would be useful to work from.


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