I would probably bypass the paired fish as breeding fish require a lot of attention. if the tank is set up well and you have a small group then they'll pair themselves up but ideally it'd better to focus on the overall tank, plants, and landscape first before growing out fish and fry and dealing with aggressive pairs
btw yeah that 29g fits in the bottom but takes up all the room. nice job on the baffles though. I've usually run planted tanks without carbon and have been pretty ok although slightly tinted water does happen sometimes. I prefer purigen to polish the water whenever that happens .
the tall tank is a great place to grow long, non demanding stems though. some rotalas would do great
I feel so far from livestock decisions; it is a little disheartening. I think I'm ultimately going to start with a school of something and work my way slowly from there; it seems like I need to make plant decisions way sooner than livestock decisions.
Yeah, the sump is probably too big. The only thing (I think) that won't fit in the sump area is going to be the CO2 tank; I think I can either submerge or securely hang everything else. There is also a closet a few feet away I'm going to set up some supply storage. I'll start off with carbon while i'm getting this thing going and look into switching to purigen, it sounds interesting and seems to be rechargeable. Unfortunately I already have 5lbs of carbon sitting here waiting to be used.
Yeah, I'm looking forward to some really tall background stuff. So far, the combination of swords + angels seems to resonate right now, but I'm really bad on plant names so it is hard to put together a mental model of what things will look like together. Still need to do some learning.
Spend a little more $$ and get a dual-stage regulator for a peace of mind. If you look around and read up, there are better places then GLA. If you are just a bit handy I'd recommend you put together your own - lots of posts on TPT on the subject and people always happy to point you in the right direction.
You can make a WTB post listing the plants you want and how many. Also watch for RAOK (Random Acts Of Kindness) post where people give away plants for the cost of shipping. If you close your eyes, what kind of tank do you imagine? Tons of pictures and sites on the web. If you can describe the tank of your dreams, people will pitch in with specific plant names.
Most "sellers" on TPT do not make much from selling plants or co2 equipment - they do it for the love of this hobby. More often then not, the hassle is not worth the couple of $ they make. That said, check out sellers' "PTrader" link under their profiles. That way you can also read comments from buyers / sellers.
Anytime you have questions - just post.
What are some good non-GLA names I should look into? I am handy and thought about putting it together myself, but honestly after drilling the tank, gluing together a sump, and reinforcing the stand, as well as a failed experiment in cutting acrylic, I'm a little DIY'd out and fine just paying for the privilege of it being done.
I'll look more into the sale area of the forum shortly; seems pretty active. Thanks for the pointer on the PTrader info.