Hi there guys, just signed up for this forum and want some advice. I bought a UNS 60U about a year ago to drill and set up as a mixed reef, but decided to setup as freshwater, i have some questions:
what should i do for co2? a fluval system? diy?
is the twinstar 600E a good light choice for up to high light plants?
is this a good stocking list!
sparkling gourami ( pair )
german blue ram ( pair )
scarlet badis ( pair )
selection of snails
overstocked? would they fit well?
in terms of plants i dont know along with aquascape, id like a good bit of hard scape in it, and a nice carpet of something
Hello and welcome to the green side!
For co2 you will need 3 things. A regulator that includes a bubble counter and check valve, a pressurized tank, and a means of getting the co2 into the water (my preference is a reactor, but many people like diffusers, either in tank or inline). I would not bother with diy co2. Most people that try it, immediately abandon it because it is inconsistent and annoying. Total cost for a co2 setup will be around 250 dollars. You can go low tech (without pressurized co2) but you won't be able to carpet effectively or grow plants nearly as fast (like 10x slower without co2).
The twinstar e line is their midrange light if I remember correctly. It will do what you want just fine.
Your fish list will need some adjustment. The rams are high temperature fish. The absolute lowest they go is around 82 degrees and they would be quite happy going higher. This is warmer then some of the fish can tolerate or on the outer edge of their range. I would either dump the rams, or base the tank around the rams, depending on how much you want them.
The scarlet badis is a weird fish, I've not kept one but my understanding is that finding a proven female is SUPER HARD, so if you actually had a pair, I'd be tempted to do a species only tank for them to see if you could breed them. Almost all the ones sold are imported and for whatever reason, only males get imported.
Regarding aquascape. For a first time planted tank, I highly suggest looking at pictures online of 60U tanks, finding one you like, and then seeing if you can copy it. It will never be a perfect copy as your rock/wood will be different and it will give you an appreciation for what it takes to build a nice aquascape.
Just my 2 cents, good luck!