So here's where I'm at. I have a new nano tank that will be set up within the next month or so and I'm needing some advice. It's about 10 total gallons empty, but with built in filtration and after furnishing, I'd wager closer to 7-8 gallons net volume. It's one of these with the back filter: Aquarium, Pond & Water Garden, Fountain and Commercial Aquaculture Products ? LIFEGARD® AQUATICS » Product Detail
The light measures about 110 PAR at 13" with a Seneye meter - will have pressurized co2. Livestock will consist primarily of shrimp but I may add in some nano fish as well.
I've chosen to go with a mix of neocaridina and possibly either green Babaulti shrimp or tangerine tigers, since they're caridina species that seem to do well in the same parameters as neo's. Plus it would be cool having a bit of a mix that won't hybridize. As such, I have chosen Fluval Stratum for my substrate (I know, some people will boo-hiss) - the reason being is because I've read that its buffering capacity, while present, is rather mild compared to other aqua soils, and while it may not come jam packed with nutrients like ADA or Controsoil, I can take advantage of its CEC properties and sort of "charge" the soil.
This is where I'm in need of some advice. My planned planting is staurogyne repens, pogostemon helferi, crypt pink flamingo, maybe some lobelia cardinalis for the midground and some AR mini, maybe some buce and anubias, background will have I don't know what just yet. However I'm open to any and all suggestions regarding plants that you all think might do well or look good.
Hardscape I'm torn between rock or wood - does wood provide a significant benefit to shrimp over rocks? I know to ensure that the rocks I use don't leach a bunch of minerals into the water, lest my parameters fluctuate too much and cause problems.
I have some unused bioballs for biological media - should those be fine to use or is it worth getting some Matrix or other fancy media? I'm not going to use pot scrubbies because it just feels janky lol. It's a personal thing, I know it's not logical.
Being that the back filter is set up sort of like a sump, with baffles and chambers, should the co2 diffuser go back there or should it be placed in the tank?
I was hoping to try out the PPS dosing method on this tank to minimize large water changes because of the shrimp - anyone have experience doing constant dosing such as PPS with shrimp? Am I thinking too much into the 50% water changes that you would do with EI?
My tap water is relatively soft and requires a boost in GH for the plants to prevent calcium deficiency. Should I use a shrimp specific GH booster or would Equilibrium/NilocG GH booster be fine to meet the needs of the shrimp and plants alike?
Anything else I'm missing? Any other related input would be absolutely appreciated! Thank you!