I've kept many aquariums and plants and done DIY CO2 with good success. Currently have 220G African with some low light plants (anubias 18" high 3 year old plant, java fern), a 580 Gallon pond/waterfall, new 3000 Gallon pond in progress for Koi and 25 years of fish keeping experience.
Never tried salt water (no interest in this at all) but high tech planted seemed like a cool project over the winter.
I cleaned out a 75 Gallon tank.
The plan is the following equipment (updated)
1. lighting - Catalina T5HO 4 bulb 216Watt total
2. CO2 10LB CO2 cylinder + GLA IDEAL CO2 Regulator JBJ bubble counter + GLA CO2 Diffuser 5000
3. Eco-complete 2-3" 160 LBS, I like the black look and reading here seems it's a pretty good off the shelf substrate
4. Filter (already have a Fluval 305) - may upgrade to a Ehiem 2028
5. Since I don't like tinkering everyday with anything, milwaukee sms122 PH controller plus it's looks like cool toy anyway.
6. light timer for 10 hours, may get night lights later.
7. Drop checker CAL AQUA "Double Check" Drop Checker from GLA
8. fish worry about this later once tank is doing ok with plants.
9. Dry Ferts from Hydroponics store and gram scale - plan on EI dry dosing directly into tank
1. 16 Rasbora's - June 27, 2010
2. 10 Neons
3. 3 Otos
4. 4 RCS
5. 4 Blue Rams
6. 4 Corys
4. 2 glass shrimp
April 4 2011 rescapped a bit, still have not done drift wood but removed rocks for more room
Any suggestions or comments are welcome.
The DSM and equipment setup is the rest of the journel.