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Advice for first nano setups for longtime planted tank keeper

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I'd like to set up several nano tanks - under 5g, likely about 1-2.5 gallons. I'll be using ADA Aquasoil Amazonia I and dosing small amounts of dry ferts for macros and CSM+B for micro. Also using Equilibrium and Baking Soda to bring tap water to GH 5 and KH 5.

I'd sincerely appreciate any advice for:

1) Good tank sizes, manufacturers and models; prefer tanks which come with a lid or for which I can make a lid to keep fish from jumping out. If anyone knows any good local nano tank suppliers for the SF Bay Area, much appreciated (AquaForest in San Francisco has a good selection of Amano nano tanks, though they can be expensive).

2) Good lights (I plan to keep light low to make it easier to manage the tank and keep small fish and inverts such as RCS, dwarf crayfish and snails)

3) Good filter recommendations (prefer to keep filter out of the tank, with a mini canister or hang-on-back filter, though HOB filters might stir up the water too much)

4) Good nano heater recommendations (if I need a heater for the fish I keep)

5) Would you use Excel only for carbon, or inject CO2 as well or in place of Excel? Thought with this size tank Excel might be the way to go.

6) Plants that would provide a low growth carpet without CO2 and high light - would Dwarf Hair Grass work for this?

7) A list of recommended plants for nano tanks - anyone have a link to one?

Might be worth putting this info into a nano tank setup sticky.
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