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Hey guys, I'm very new to this forum and planted tanks in general.
My experience with aquariums had always involved 10-20g tanks with plastic decorations. Currently, I have a 10g set up thriving with Glofish, and a pond of goldfish. Now I am setting up an Aqueon 15g column tank and I want to make it planted. I've been thinking about getting one started for a while now, and I have planned my materials/stock after browsing countless posts and articles, but I want a couple last opinions to see if I want to make any changes before making this investment.

I guess what I'm planning would be considered "low-tech", but I'm open to upgrading if its necessary.

Tank: Aqueon 15g column tank - I had this aquarium for a loooong time, and the hood has been bust for a while now, so it's gonna get replaced with plexiglass (I'll have to custom-build it myself, since there's no glass tops on the market with the correct dimensions)

Light: I'm planning to get the Aqueon Live Planted LED fixture (clip-on). I'm not entirely sure of the wattage, but other people with the column tank have had success with this for moderate to high light plants.

Substrate: Imagitarium White Aquarium Sand - I've been trying to choose between just regular sand and Flourite, but I heard the latter loses its nutrients after a while so I'm planning to go with just sand. It's just more aesthetic and people have had success with it. I'm wondering if it's worth it to maybe even combine the two or just go with one?

Heater: Aqueon Pro Submersible 50W Heater - I would go with the "new" version, but it's more expensive for a slight redesign, and recently people have had problems with its casing splitting down the middle and killing their fish. I'm very open to any suggestions you guys have on this. I don't think I'll go for 100W because although I live in the PNW, I keep my room very warm. Like almost sauna warm.
Also, does anyone have suggestions for a good thermometer? My digital one is wack.

Plants: Vallisneria and Amazon Sword for background/midground, and Anubias minima for the foreground. I'm not really going for any true carpeting plants. I know these plants are typically root feeders but can also gain nutrients from the water column so I'm planning on getting ferts as well.

Fish: 8 neon tetras, 4 glass catfish, and 4 black mollies. Nothing too challenging, I just love the way they look. Neon tetras are especially adorableee.

Obviously, this isn't going to be done all at once (that's just suicidal for someone of my expertise), but I want to set up the bare basics (get to planting) before my winter break ends.

Any suggestions/help is greatly appreciated and thank you in advance!

- Donni
 
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