Thanks! I'm lucky in that we have the GSAS up here that allows me to trade fish and plants pretty cheaply and easily. I suppose I've been doing this for two years now, but I still consider myself a beginner and I'm constantly learning. It's one of my goals to try all the different aquarium styles (nature style, iwagumi, dutch, diorama, ryoboku, biotope, Brazilian style) so I can eventually find out what MY style is. So basically once a layout looks as good as I think it's going to get, it's time for a rescape.
I would like to eventually have larger tanks, but I don't know if I'd want more two tanks at once. I think maybe the 90U size (36"x22"x22") or 90P (36"x18"x18") and the 120P (48"x20"x20") would be my dream tanks. I like the way Dennis Wong has one "scape" tank and one "farm" tank. It is nice to be able to give two tanks the attention they deserve rather than having more tanks that don't look as good or aren't doing as well.
I'm very grateful for the soft, clean water around here. It's super impressive to see the dedication of a lot of the hobbyists on this board with their R/O sheds, mixing stations, etc... I'm glad I don't need to do that.
I was using the dosing pump, but as an experiment I tried mixing up a batch of all-in-one fertilizers and dispensing out of an old Easy Green bottle. Since I feed the fish every day I've just been using my little all-in-one mix. I still have the dosing pump and I might set it up again in the future though!
The low water level due to a few factors. When the water level is at the very top, I do get more jumpers. It also makes it impossible for me to reach my hands in there without causing the water to slosh over the sides if I need to replant something, trim a dead leaf etc. On the 12 gallon, I need to physically pull it out from under the cabinet it is under for maintenance and that also would be difficult if it was filled to the brim.