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Planned stock List

10->lots Sulawesi cardinals
4->lots Orange rabbit/elephant snails
4->lots Golden Mystery/apple snails
3->lots King koi guppies
1 panther crab (havent decided) Im pretty sure this guy would destroy a carpet if anyone has experience thx

Water Parameters out of tap
PH 7.8
GH 8
kh 5

Now this is going to be a 55gallon tank with an iwagumi scape i've had previous experience with fish and plants but all of my tanks have been lowtech and this will be my first foray into High Tech
With this is mind and the fact that i need to keep this hardwater i would like to get some advice from you lovely people

Now i plan to use a cap of ecocomplete/ada aquasoil with a larger substrate underneath and also run Co2. Now i know that both the aquasoil and co2 are going to lower my P.H which is something i dont want.

My current solutions in my head is to do this with substrate starting with 1/2inch in the front and going to about 3-6 inches in the rear of the tank

Planned substrate(different suggestions welcome)
crushed coral substrate pre cap
Dragonstone rocks with some subbed out for limestone as needed
If my P.H still isnt where its needed add more aeration

Now onto plants.

This is where I'm struggling most, what i've come up with in my head for decent choices. Suggestions here would be helpful

Riccardia moss(trimmed off rocks)
Java moss with a [censored][censored][censored][censored] load of trimming(last resort)

Equipment Need suggestions

Budget $1000-1500

looking at cannister or hang on back suggestions welcome

was thinking about Finnex planted plus here but willing to go for something like kessels if the budget is there

UV sterilizer
Need help never had before

Co2 regulater/diffuser
again need help never had before

Everything else i already have

So in conclusion the things i'm looking for advice on is Panther crabs, any substrate suggestions to meet my needs, Different carpets that might be viable in hardwater, and equipment suggestions.
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