So I was a member of NR for some time and did a couple nano and pico reefs before getting fed up with the ridiculous amount of cash I was dropping on the hobby, and I just quit. I have kept a 39 gallon planted tank going for over 5 years now: CO2, 110 watts of CF, Ehiem canister, Fluorite, planted with with some crypts, rotalla indica, java fern, and dwarf lilies. It's got a school of Harlequin rasboras, a couple blue rams, a few SAEs, a couple barred loaches, about 5 amano shrimp, and a TON of malasian trumpet snails. I do monthly 50% water changes and do not supplement any more (used to, but stopped, nd the tank actually started doin BETTER... go figgure). Sorry, no pics right now.
Anyway, on to the new tank I'm setting up: I 'm taking one of my old custom 2.5 gallon reef tanks, and turning it into a little nano planted tank. Here it is so far:
It's got 27watt CF over it, Onyx sand on the bottom, and a closed loop on a MaxiJet 600 (160 gps). Yes, I know this is a ton of flow for a little planted tank, so I am actually considering reducing it by trimming the impeller. I went with the closed loop instead of a filter since I'd like to see if a well planted little system with good water flow, only a few fish, and a good detritivore crew could manage it's own waste load. I will do water changes of course, and plan to supplement with Excel and a little Flourish.
Anyway, I would like to plant it with a carpet of Glosso, a couple isolated bunches of dwarf hair grass, and a few dwarf crypts from my other tank. I am still not sure what fish I'd like to go with, but I'd like something colorful and active that will appreciate the relatively high flow (even if I decide to reduce it some). Tetras? Killis? Danios? And, of course, I want shrimp. I have amanos in my bigger tank, but I'd like something more colorful in here. I've heard good things about cherries, and have considered them. How many would be sufficient in this size tank?
Thoughts on my filter choice (or lack thereof), and plant choices? Fish suggestions? Online retailer suggestions for the pants/fish/shrimp?
Anyway, it's nice to be here, and I look forward to all your advice and ideas.