5.5 gallon or 10 gallon? Planting?
I created a post yesterday and received some great answers which has helped me decide on some key factors, but I still have some questions that I have not been able to find answers for. I would appreciate all help and advice regarding the following questions, and please bare in mind that this is my first attempt at a planted tank w/ shrimp.
I would like to start by saying that any cost effective methods that you have used would be greatly appreciated. I am aware of the high costs of CO2, so I will use a DIY system, but there are other costs (lighting especially) that I would like to be able to minimize. What can I do to minimize the costs for lighting? Hoods for tanks, even just the bulbs, are extremely expensive in Petco and Petsmart.
My next problem is tank size. I am torn between a 5.5 gallon (I didn't know that they do not sell basic black 5 gallon tanks), and a 10 gallon. I would enjoy the smallest tank possible for this venture, and I hope that you could recommend one at the end.
I would love to begin a heavily, dense, planted tank w/ shrimp and fish. Let's start with plants. I love plants that are healthy/green looking, especially carpet-type plants. I love plants that grow quickly and "get out of hand", because I prefer my tank to be FULL of plants. I love the look of a tank that is very heavily planted. I may be able to incorporate driftwood, clay pots, etc. My question regarding plants is: What plants should I use and what else should I use with them (i.e. clay pots)?
Let's discuss shrimp. I have raised shrimp before with great results and would like to house my CRS with the plants. This should not be a problem to my knowledge, although I have never had a planted tank, and have opted for faux plants in the past.
...and finally fish. I would like to house some Otocinclus Catfish with the plants and shrimp, as well as some Pygmy Corydoras, and Bushynose Plecos. I have had great luck with these fish with shrimp in the past; your opinion?
Thank-you for your time and patience reading this long post and I hope that we can all communicate and find solutions to these problems. I will be available for the next few hours to discuss these when you post.