Advice - Starting a New Aquascape
Hello! I've spent quite some time on these forums, and am finally ready to get more involved in discussion. I just finished up a 6-month internship and finally have some money to take a real crack at a high-quality planted aquarium.
I have been keeping fish for the last 2 or 3 years while in college, but I've never had the money to really make a go at a planted aquarium. All my past attempts at low-cost (~$100) setups have been less than satisfying.
Anyway, I was hoping to get some advice on my current plans before I make any disastrous decisions.
I currently have two empty tanks - 29gal 30x18x12 (I think) and a 30gal long. I am leaning towards the 29 because it is taller and gives a better overall shape for aquascaping. Does anyone have any experience/advice in in this area?
Secondly, lighting. I just purchased (in route now) a 36" TrueLumen Pro LED light strip 8k Sun White. I'm going to construct an aquarium stand out of 2x4 lumber and mount the light above the tank.
I also ordered 60lbs of Eco Complete black which is in route as well. I think this is probably more than I need, but I have another tank that I might put it into if I end up with extra.
How does my plan sound so far?
The next step, and the part where I am most inexperienced is the selection (and purchase) of plants. If you were to do an entire tank setup in one go, what would be the best place to get plants? A friend of mine has suggested several online retailers, but I also have a fairly decent LFS nearby. Also, does anyone have any advice on where to inexpensively acquire good aquarium wood and rock hardscape?
Currently I want to get a pair of german blue rams (really want clown loaches, but I'm worried my tank is too small), and then flesh out the rest of the tank with smaller schooling fish and some corydoras.
Any advice/comments would be greatly appreciated!