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I have a setup very similar to what you're planning. I went with MTS capped with STS from Tractor Supply. The best combo of price and functionality; no dosing, looks great, cheap.

I have the 36" Fugeray 2 over a 75g, which is 20" tall. I planted heavy, never had an algae outbreak, I've only scraped the glass once in the two or so months I've had the tank. No water changes, and about fifty fish.

I grow crypts, anubias, all types of swords, various hygros, and some other junk. If you are worried about too much light, get some DWL or Frogbit to provide shade. Just FYI I picked up two Fluval 306s at Petsmart and Petco for $80 each; good sales are always around the corner.

Get e 40 breeder :)
 

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Fwiw, I moved a 210g reef setup across town; it's not as bad as you think, not a reason to dodge going from a 20 to a 40. And honestly, I think the best thing you can do is use RO/DI water from the get go. It will save you a lot of testing, algae, and guessing down the road. A little bit of a hassle to start, but works well in the long run.
 

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Tylt33: I'd totally go the STS route, but I've really fallen for the black substrate look. I considered using Black Diamond blasting grit, but those fine needles aren't all that appealing to me. I'm going to start looking in to MTS or at least MGOPS. Do you have the Ray2 or a Fugeray, and are you using c02? And is a RO/DI system DIYable? Good to know about the frequent Fluval sales, too! I think they were that price for Black Friday. I only started researching equipment prices just after Thanksgiving, so I'm not familiar with what's a good holiday deal
I have the Fugeray, and I don't use co2. Floating plants can often be had for free from the RAOK section here. RO//DI units are an investment up front, but totally worth it in the long run IMO.
 
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