Originally Posted by vincenz
Ditto on the shelf. Make sure it can support at least 150 lbs.
Some things to consider:
There aren't any plants out there you won't have to trim from time to time. Plants don't just grow to a specific size and just stay there perfectly. It's nature. It'll either grow and keep growing, or grow to the point where it can't grow anymore and then start to die because it'll choke itself. Now what type of trimming and pruning is another matter.
Since you don't like dirt, go with a shrimp-friendly substrate. There are more than enough qualified people out there to give ideas here, but generally what you want is ADA Aquasoil.
I would skip on the water change hose because it's a relatively small tank. I'm talking about one of those that connect to a faucet. Just buy one of those small hand siphons and use a bucket-- much more easier to manage for small scale things like this.
Filtration is fine, but I'd get rid of the powerhead. Those won't play well once your shrimp start breeding (shrimp sauce, anyone?). Just put the HOB on one of the short sides. Or if you're willing to go canister for a cleaner look, you can do that instead.
As for lighting, you may not have enough for anything other than moss and crypts. I'm not too sure hairgrass will do well with that light, but I could be wrong. I'd stay away from crypts since you probably won't like how the majority of them look. And they're not very good if you're looking for small scale plants.
If I were you, I'd go for a hardscape-dominated scape since you don't like maintenance. Go for some nice-looking rocks and have some moss here and there. Good luck and have fun-- just make sure your tank is cycled and good to go.
Pretty much agree with you about everything you said. Don't think I will NEVER have to do some sort of gardening but want to minimize as much as possible through my choices of plants.
Yes, plan to get one of those 2 meter hose with ball pump things not those 25-50ft water change pythons.
Yes, the light doesn't look particularly strong. I saw another forum member with the same tank got the more powerful DOUBLE Marineland LED light. He claimed it to be too bright. So, I thought I could get away with a SINGLE version of the same light. I hope the light is enough to keep hairgrass alive but not enough to get it to propogate. The thought of "runners" kind of gross me out.
I got some wood and rocks already. I don't know how to put it all together yet though.
Thanks for pointing out the powerhead shrimpy guillotine. I got the Koralie 240 Nano which I think is the smallest powerhead on the market. I tested it in my sink, and it barely creates a current. I won't use it much. I hope it's small and weak enough that it won't suck any shrimpies in... But, at least it's brought to my attention and I will see to what my alternatives are. Maybe get one of those timer power outlets that will cause the powerhead to "pulse" hence making it even weaker than it already is? But then, why even bother with a powerhead at that point?