I hear you and understand about the learning curve. I've been doing a lot of investigation and research for weeks. From where I was weeks ago, I'm already thinking upgrade. I realize the variables & complexities involved.
I'd prefer flexibility and growth over a limited amount of plants as DaveK points out.
Ceech1, yes! I love fish and I love growing plants and gardening. I can see in the future tweaking with aqua farming and growing fresh greens above the water, for the long winters we experience. I did hydroponics years ago out in Los Angelos, so my mind is really going on future possibilities and experimentation. Figuring out the CO2 contraption I see as the toughest battle at this point. Looks complicated, but really haven't researched. I realize I have options like starting out with a paint ball unit or something.
Buying plants and watching them perish, is not really an option and the more I see what plants I'm limiting myself to, is why I am thinking about going down a different road.
HD Blazing Wolf and 82nd Airborne, I can already see myself in that position and thinking I'd just better avoid the scenario to begin with.
Has anybody done any cost comparisons with CO2 and the liquid carbon. Looking into the cost, my LFS wants $14.99 for a 250ml bottle that will last a month on my 55. Then I see people saying they are getting their CO2 tanks cheaply and last for months. This is really why I'm going hmmmm. That's $180 for a year? After one year, I have nothing to show and at least with a CO2 tank & setup, seems like there is something that would pay for itself really quickly?
Dry ferts seem relatively economical in the long run, too.
Thanks for feedback, thus far. My proposal is slowing coming together...