couple quick things and responses to above...
what is gH? i know KH as it is carbonate hardness. i keep my saltwater reef at 8 lol, so im familiar with alkalinity, but not so much in its regards to fresh.
i will go low tech to start, and i dont wana do anything with carbon dosing/co2 until further down the road if i progress to that level.
i would like to use a carbon reactor/filter if it will help, but only if it will and is necessary. ive heard the plants themselves when healthy will help with water clarity, but dont actually know myself for sure.
im not looking for speed of growth or anything like that, im not in a rush. just looking to create a stable eco system to start with and go from there.
looking to start with more easy to care plants, and what not. the list in the first response to me above, is very helpful, thank you.
i will not be using undergravel filters, and the suggestion of eco-complete substrate after a little reading seems good. not sure what else is available, though i was reading through the short summaries in the substrate forum. i just know i want all natural soil looking if possible, or to resemble that of a slow moving river bed. really its just important to me to use what is best for the plants.
fish i have no idea yet, just ones that arent herbivores obviously lol
also, i assume the in tank flow, would be much less than that of what i use im my reef tank... anymore thoughts on this?
and how does one manage oxygen induction to the aquarium? i would rather not use air pump if i can, but its not a big deal if i do have to. but im really not sure how oxygen levels and up keep work in these tanks.
sorry for the spread of randomness. i am searching and reading through other stuff, but it just helps make it easier sometimes to have others point out the more important aspects as i go, as there is ALOT of info out there and i dont wana end up focusing on the less important stuff getting caught up at this point.
i am definately gona go with a 20 long to start. i do have a small AC30 laying aorund i can use. and i have an extra "carbon reactor" i could utilize if need be. wouldnt be hard to find an air pump and sponge if i have to either.
i would actually like to setup this up "reef style" with a small sump to hide all my gear however, as i hate displays with such in them. i have a small return pump i could use and a small i could use for the sump. would a filter sock on the drain be of any use?? also im thinking the retrun pump could also act as my in tank flow...
the more i think about it, the more i would prefer to use a "sump" and just drill a display, or even install an overflow... i realize this probably isnt conventional for fresh tanks, but it seems like it would look a little more "clean" in a sense.
any thoughts on this?
also, im thinking of using a quality 2 bulb t5 fixture. and using a 12" wide tank at the most. either a 20 long like mentioned above, or perhaps a 4' 40g long would be a nice display.
just more thoughts and notes to help you guys steer me in the right direction