Just got a 23L Fluval edge. Advice Please!
Hello all. I'm still very new to planted tanks (I have one ten gallon that is really lacking in any aesthetic sense). Today I received a wonderful fluval edge tank and though I'm terribly excited to put it together, I want some advice first. I don't want this to end up like my current algae and hydra tank so I will break this down into bits;
Dirt? I'm thinking no, though I like the idea of dirt in a tank (mini ecosystem) It seems like I will have too many excess nutrients which would lead to algae. However, I have only ever done a dirt tank, so what's up with root tabs? Do I put those in once a month? Do I just stick it anywhere?
Stocking. I'm thinking shrimp only. Maybe a beta (though if it killed my shrimp I would not be happy). I'm always tempted to over feed my fish to get them nice and fat and shrimp can survive mostly on biofilm. So I'm not too worried.
Filter. I have only ever used a sponge filter before, how much maintenance does this HOB style need? Would I need to service it less if I had shrimp only?
Scaping/Plants. I really want a few small plants. Nothing so big it would need constant trimming. I have Cardinal plant, DHG, Java moss, wisteria, money wort, and some Java fern. I want to get some xmas or flame moss too. I don't want to bother with any driftwood, I'm just thinking a few moss covered rocks, grass, and maybe some fern. I do not plan on trimming the DHG just because of the style of the tank, is that unthinkable?
Substrate? Right now I have a bag of flora max ready to go. Is that enough? A bad choice for shrimp?
Sorry for all the questions. I really just don't want this to be an utter failure. My family spent good money on it so I want to show it off when they come over.