Alright well here goes nothing!
So growing up we had numerous tanks (from fresh to saltwater) and I kind miss having an aquarium. At a point in my life now where I quasi have the room for one and have kids of my own now and want to show them how awesome tanks can be. I will contain a list below of what I am going to do and what I am thinking of doing. Any tips/recommendations would be awesome, and as a reward for all your work I will share pictures of our progress lol. What I am wanting to do is create a planted 20g tank to be as close to self sustaining as possible. Understand I will have to supplement food/O2+Co2 etc. Want to try my luck at creating something that will fun to watch grow and be fun to watch the creatures growing as well. Planning on running around 16-18 (unless otherwise recommended) fish total all around the 1" mark.
20G Tall 24"Lx12"Wx16.5"H
Marineland Stealth Pro Heater 100w
Caribsea ECO complete black aquarium substrate
Caribsea Peace River Gravel
Marina Floating Thermometer
Aquaculture Multi-tool (tweezers/cutters)
Finnex Planted+ 24/7 Autmated LED (debating this still as its a bit pricy)
Dwarf Hairgrass - on bottom
Java Moss - on the structures within the tank (branches/rock havent decided yet)
Duckweed on the surface.
Will be picking up Javafern, Narrow Anachris (Since the broadleaf variety is illegal here and an invasive species), and some Hornwort(wart???).
What is the recommended # of plants for a tank of this size?
Fish (Current plan need to continue research living conditions for the following fish and confirm compatibility)
Cycle Stage - 5-6 RCS, 1 MTS, 1-2 Harlequin Raspbora, 2-3 White Clouds
First Stage addition - school of 6 tetras will prob split 3 Cardinal and 3 another variety, 1 Zebra loach, 1-2 Cory Catfish, and 1 bristle nose catfish.
Final Addition (once I know things are stable enough to support the #s) - would love some Chili Raspbora (havent found any here in Columbus OH yet).
Lastly I am thinking of just doing the DIY CO kit and getting a bubbler for it, and getting some of the 'Thrive' nutrients for the plants.
Other than that any recommendations for someone just getting into the hobby and wanting to be successful? I would love all and any tips that can be given.
My FAVORITE memory was our Fire Eel we had. Named him Capt. Nemo. That fish had so much character to him. He use to play peekaboo with us and his PVC tubing/hole we made for him. Hoping to create something similar for my boys!