Ok, so I'm just starting out and decided to go with a low light (read: "low maintenance") planted setup. I thought it would be the healthiest way to keep fish, ya know? It couldn't take up too much of my time and from my research I've seen how beautiful the planted tanks truly look.
So I got a used frameless Marineland 20H gallon and stand for $20.
I did a fish-less cycle (So much more difficult than the directions made it out to be!) and just now added a few fish. Being cautious of ammonia spikes and all that mess. It's been a little over a month since the cycling process "finished."
All of the hardware comes from yard sales and the like. Below is my setup and I am of course open to advice and opinions. Be gentle, I'm new at this.
Penguin 200B for a 55 gallon
I think it is a double bright, but it is a Marineland LED strip (extends out to about 24") with the 'moon lighting' blue LED on there too.
Temp is 75 F and pH is 6.8 -- Ammonia is 0 and I have not recently (in the last week or so) tested for nitrates. I do weekly 25% water changes.
Harlequin Rasbora (x6)
Peppered Cory (x4)
Oto Cat (x1)
Nerite Snail (x1)
Two kinds of Java Fern (don't ask which kinds, but if you know feel free to chime in)
Marimo Moss balls (x3)
I've mounted all the plants (except the moss balls) to drift wood or wedged it lightly between rocks. I have been using API Leaf Zone as my liquid fert. The sand is pH neutral and I haven't put any fert tabs in there yet. Not sure if I need to at the moment.
Not sure if I need to anything at this time. I just want the plants to grow out and look great. The background is a subject of much debate between my wife and I. Not sure if we should just put a blue or black ground on it or actually try to create a heavy plant barrier between the tank and the wall behind it so you don't notice.