Welcome to the forum. Planted aquariums are awesome, but there is a lot to learn about them too!
A 50g is an admirable size to start with. In fact, this will work to your advantage because sudden problems don't seem to affect bigger tanks like they do smaller ones!
However, there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. A single, or even double T5 will not be enough light for a 18" tall tank. I'd highly advise you look into a single bulb T5HO fixture. Hagen GLO is a good one. LED's are also an option if you are willing to spend the dough. Canisters are a great choice, and I would look into the AquaTop CF-500UV (also known as the SunSun HW-404B, and many other names, they all look the same, perform the same, etc) Plants don't cost a ton, but when you start to kill them off it will get expensive. Getting all the right equipment for them is more important than worrying on plant costs. Btw, use Livingston John Inness #3 as your soil
2. CO2, while not "necessary" is necessary for life. The amount of co2 available to the plants will drive how much light and fertilizers they need. This in turn will be the defining line between flourishing, quick growth, and stunted, slow growth. If money is an issue for CO2, as I know you are only 15 and CO2 equipment can be quite expensive, its very feasible to set up a DIY CO2 system thats elaborate enough for a 50g. It may take work, but it is worth it for the health of your plants! On this same note, you will need to dose fertilizers. Dry fertilizers are your best bet, for sure.
3. No, you do not need RO. RO simply lets the aquarist precisely control the quality of their water, for example, keeping Discus, etc.
4. No such thing as being too ambitious. Work towards that goal, you may never reach that quality of a tank, but you will LEARN, have fun and can say you did all you could. Who knows, maybe one day you will have BETTER tanks!! This hobby is about using your imagination and creating anything your heart desires.
just come on here to hopefully get some advice before i take my next steps into aquatics. First thread so i'll start off introducing myself, and then add my questions at the end
So im currently 15, student in Lincolnshire and ive cared and researched for fish for almost 10 years now. Ive kept coldwater fancy goldfish to tropical fish such as tetras and corys. Id like to take another step into aquascaping and upgrading my current 15 gallon setup. Ive been interested in fish and i have always been interested in marine biology and the coral reefs and amazonian rivers. So thats about me, now to the questions :L
Im currently in the process of looking to start a new setup. Ive just had a quote for a new aquarium that is 40" x 16" x 18" with sliders, which i plan to place onto an aquarium. but i have a few questions, i'll list them below for to make life easier :L
1.) Average setup for plants. My aims are to put either a t8 or t5 light unit above, with an external filter. But im thinking about the substrate and plants. I plan to get my rocks from a location in Wales i will soon be visiting, as there are some great sized pieces that ive used previously in my aquariums with no problems. I also plan to use soil for substrate and sand i already have for my old aquarium. But how much would plants cost to carpet most of the aquarium?
2.) co2, nessecary or not?
3.) do i really need rodi? what restictions will it give me?
4.) I like this design, but am i being too ambitious?
I like Cliff Hui's designs, and would like to try and follow his style
So thats it so far, any answers would be really appriciated
Ps: let me know if the photo does work, will tweak it ;L aha