After a lot of research and trying to find something that will fit my budget, here is what I have decided on.
Tank: Finnex 4-gallon
(includes 13w power compact and power filter)
Substrate: Oiso Sand
(it's expensive and hard to find, but I absolutely love it)
no idea (will take suggestions)
I'm a big fan of anubias and crypts but would like to think of some tall plants to add as well (taking suggestions here also)
Still undecided. I may go with a dwarf puffer or perhaps a group of very small fish (maybe just cherry shrimp)
planning to dose with Flourish Excel. This tank will be setup in my office at work so I don't want to get too complicated.
Now for the questions:
1. What is the best way to cycle the tank? I've never had one this small before.
2. The Oiso Sand will need to be supplemented with something fertile. What should I use? A layer of laterite underneath?
3. How many pounds of the Oiso Sand should I buy? It's expensive so I only want to get what I really need.
4. How should I dose the Flourish Excel? I've never used it on a tank smaller than 10-gallons, so I don't want to overload this little 4-gallon. I'm guessing I should just go with a few drops, correct?
5. Do you guys have any other suggestions on things I might have missed here?
Thanks in advance for any and all replies. I am very open to suggestions on this and would love to hear your ideas