Hi! I've been lurking for weeks I guess you can say, but I've had "low tech" type plant tanks on and off for years. My biggest at one point was a 100 gallons, but now I have nanos (everything from unfiltered planted shrimp tanks to a 6.6 gal). This would be my first post XD
Your moss tree can be low tech, but will grow better like the picture in higher light (with CO2). Depending on the moss, it's look can be different depending on the conditions it was grown in.
Please excuse me if my former Fish store employee speals start to kick in XD....
I'd suggest either setting up a budget for yourself, or researching different types of set ups. Decide if you want fish or inverts. Also I suggest researching the plants you find before you buy them. If you go low light, most of the stores seem to sell higher light plants or semi-aquatics, and in the end you may fail with these.
From my own personal experience and sticking to what I generally see in stores here:
I'm assuming here - but if you go low light, lower tech some great starter plants:
- Certain mosses (quite a few can do well in low light set ups)
* buy from a hobbyist, they seem to transition better vs. going through several "acclimation periods" from nursery to distributor to sales store. Store bought mosses generally will come around, they just seem to take longer.
- Many common Crypts. These will occasionally melt, but generally will come back (most of the time)
* I love Crypts, and if you like these and do well with them there are some "rare" collector varieties out there. I don't have any, but I do drool.
- Marimo Moss balls
- Java Ferns and Boltitus (if you can find them)
* I have seen Bolbitus heteroclita in the Petco on Marks. It isn't related to Java Fern but has similar needs.
* Java Fern has become fairly popular in recent years, and is pretty easy to find, but there are some more "exotic" varieties out there
- Onion Plant (Crinum)
- Anubias (most - recommend Nana and Barteri)
- Round Pelia (ok, never seen it in a store, but I might be able to spare a starter culture if you ever want)