Join Date: May 2011
Location: Elk Grove, California
Miah, oh. 15gal tubs are great.
Jen, you could ask for a store to order the shipment in and keep it for you at the store. That big LFS probably would do special orders.
Cories will aerate the sand a little but not like trumpets. You don't need snails to aerate it, you can just poke it once a week with a stick. Or you can get rabbit snails like what Bekah has. Those burrow and aerate but they don't multiply nearly as fast.
Pandas seem to be rare in the US. I've only seen them a few times at the many LFS around me. Jen, is your water soft? If it isn't, I don't know if I'd recommend pandas. They're not as hardy as other cories and need soft water and a fairly neutral pH. Even though my water was super soft, my pH was too high and they all ended up dying anyway. :( OOoootherwise, you could add a blackwater extract to soften the water. And driftwood.