Doesn't like Kool-Aid
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Hawthorne, New Jersey
Your choices sound good!
Some of us believe CO2 reactors are superior to CO2 diffusers. Some of us believe diffusers are fine. The choice is up to you. Personally, I prefer a reactor. A reactor does a bang up job at dissolving CO2 into the aquarium, and if it is an external reactor that plugs into a canister filter's tubing, there is one less piece of equipment in your aquarium.
I am with Rex on the heating cables. They are neat, but unnecessary. The drawback on heating cables would be that the roots of some plants (Crypts, Swords) can get tangled up in the heating cables. If you were to pull up a plant that had it's roots wrapped up in the cables, you would have a good change of pulling up the heating cables as well!