Welcome! Before you fall too far down the rabbit hole of internet searching, I would recommend a trip to your local fish stores. That will likely give you an idea of what sort of plants and fish do best in the water you have in your area. Working within the parameters you have is much less stressful than becoming invested in plants/fish that aren't available or easy to care for in your area! That said...I just had a super cool plant mailed from all the way across the country, so...maybe I should take my own advice? LOL
Anyway, happy you're here!
Thank you for the welcome! I've been doing a bit of research on plants for our water - hard, alkaline - my area is a hot-bed of Texas Limestone (think that lovely holey rock in so many cichlid tanks - dig a little in any backyard in the area, and you'll hit a wall of the stuff). Fortunately, it sounds like most of the plants that are decent for beginners & low tech should do fine.
Now fish... that's the tough one! I absolutely adored my cichlids, but they just won't work in a smaller tank (no room for a big one right now) or with the plants. But I am hopeful I can still put together a pretty tank with some personality.
Hello!! Welcome to The Planted Tank!!! If you have a low tech planted tank, I personally think a school of cardinal tetras and a pair or 2 of honey gouramis and maybe some cory catfish all in a 55-75 gallon. It all depends on what you personal preference is and your imagination!! Do you have any idea what kind of fish you are interested in(eg. amazon biotope, south American community, African community, plant safe cichlids, etc.)?
Thank you for the welcome!
I'd love to go that big, but we just don't have the space right now. I'm looking at a 20 long. I have hard, alkaline water (gotta love central TX!). Fortunately, an amazing number of fish can do well in our water, but it does eliminate some. It does seem that our water falls within the parameters for gouramis, so dwarf guaramis are an option. I'd love to hear any ideas!