What kind of tank are you planning on using? i know that you can switch out the bulb in the hood of the minibow 2.5 tanks to a cf bulb instead of the incandescent(sp?) one that they come with. As far as filters go, I love the redsea nano filters ( http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...anofilterclear
) It's really cute and works great on my 2.5 gal
Also, son't worry about buying extra filter cartridges because this filter doesn't come with a separate area for bio-filtration (which is one of the spots to build up the good bacteria that the tank needs) so all I do is occasionally shake out the cartridge in used tank water (like right after a water change).
Some good plants to keep are mosses (like christmas or java moss), anubias, stem plants (like anubias or moneywort) are always good at first to help outwit the algae, I really like the mini vallisnerias that I have in my 2.5 (but you would have to trim them because they can get long), java fern is usually popular. If you search in the forums you should be able to find a decent list of good nano plants.
There is also this thread: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...st-v1-0-a.html
which lists some good nano fish.
You could always do an all-shrimp tank (those are sweet!). In my 5 gal I have 2 african dwarf frogs and those are a lot of fun as well.
If you pm me when you get ready to set up, I could send you some decent plants for the cost of shipping if you want
There are also a lot of really good looking nanos on this forum, so it's always a good idea to search and maybe you can get some ideas that way! And since I like to show people my handiwork, here's a pic of my 2.5