I recently started an office tank. This is my only real planted tank. I have a few other tanks but don't even use soil substrate. So, my other tanks have plants that do not require soil such as anubias and subwassertang.
Tanks: Aquatop 2gallon (8" x 8" x 8")
Light: Deep Blue Solarflare Micro
Filter: Aquatop IF201
Plants: Ammania Bonsai, HC, Alternetha Reineckii Mini, HG.
Soil: ADA Amazonia
Fauna: To be added are a Betta, a Guppy and some shrimps.
Top: 1/8" glass top
Tank is still cycling.
1) Light is just right for the tank as long as plants that need a lot of light are located away from the peripheral of the tank. I had to move the HC away from corner of tank as those in corner were melting.
2) Tried all types of "nano" filters including Tom, Azoo and Deep Blue before keeping the Aquatop internal. All the rest are too powerful for the tank. To further reduce flow, I placed a short piece of air hose inside the filter where it connects the spray bar.
3) In the filter I have: Eheim sintured glass balls for beneficial bacteria, carbon, a coarse sponge that came with the filter, and a fine sponge. I overstuffed the filter with the sponge in order to reduce the flow coming out of the spray bar. I also drilled about 10 more holes into the spray bar to reduce the flow's viscosity.
4) DSM for about 2 week before filling tank.
5) Dosing Excel daily to minimizing algae growth and keeping HC healthy.
6) Had an Erios in the tank but removed it as it got too big.
7) Thinking of removing the HG. I want the cover to fill the tank's background in and to prove shrimps with more hiding places. But, they are "hiding" the Reineckii.