Help me set up a new low maintenance planted nano shrimp tank
I'm not new to aquariums, I've had aquariums for ~25 years. A few community tanks at first, then I kept a Jack Dempsey for 14 years. After he passed I converted his tank to african cichlids for the last few years. I'm familiar with water parameters, cycling, etc. I am however new to nano tanks, plants and invertebrates.
I have a 24" wide L shaped desk in my office that I'd like to put a tank on. I'm thinking about 10 gallons, but open to other options. The edge I'd like to put the tank on is directly to my left and has about 30" clearance above it. There is plenty of space further to the left for HOB filters, or even canister filter on the floor. I'm only in that office 4 days per week so that's part of the reason for low maintenance. I don't mind spending money on good equipment, I've learned the hard way you get what you pay for. I also don't mind working on the tank myself and assembling the parts, I don't need a complete kit, but I'm open to one.
My original thinking is for some easy shrimp, a few snails and some plants. I've been going back and forth about having fish or not but they may overly complicate things. On the other hand do they provide nitrates and CO2 for the plants?
I'm a little overwhelmed by the tank choices. One main criteria is I need to have a nice lid. The cabinets above the tank are steel and I think over time they may rust with the humidity. It would also keep the cleaning people from spraying chemicals into the tank while wiping the cabinets. Rimless would be nice.
I don't think I want to add CO2, but maybe that's because I'm not familiar with it. I think it goes against my low maintenance goal. I also don't want to have to trim the tank every week.
I'm confused about filters. With my fish I've always over filtered but they don't mind the flow. Is a HOB or canister filter too much for shrimp? Is a sponge filter too little flow for plants? Are there any more elegant/hidden solutions to keep shrimp from getting sucked into the filter than the standard sponge over the intake?
Those are my thoughts. Any suggestions would be appreciated.