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Ok,
I am sitting on the fence on fully commiting hard core to a planted tank.

what do i need?
http://www.fnzas.org.nz/fishroom/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=54446
in tis post, the 2nd, 3rd 4th picture.

what gear do i need, substrate etc
lighting... plants, what are those plants?

i dont just want a tank with plants, i want a aqua scaped full on habitat. it will be very lightly stocked - focus is on the plants
 

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In my opinion, there is no one best way to set up a planted tank, or any other type of tank. It all comes down to the question, what do you want out of the tank. This is not only the the flora and fauna you keep in the system, but the approach you want to take to get there.

In the specific tanks your looking at, it's safe to assume that they are using high light, pressurized CO2, and canister filters. It's also safe to assume that they are dousing frets very often, using a system similar to the EI system and doing a typical 50% water change each week.

Now the results speak for themselves, but consider carefully if you want to do that much work all the time to maintain the system.

As for exact gear, I don't think the specific brands make that much difference, but you do want certain features. For example, look at some of the threads in the equipment section on canister filters. There are a lot of popular brands. All of the will work, but each one has slightly different features. The same thing is true of lighting, and even CO2 systems. You can see that there are whole forum sections devoted to these topics.

Each item is a very personal choice, and what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for someone else.

I suggest that you determine what equipment and methods you want to use, and then make an addition post listing it, and asking for comments.
 
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