Dang it, it looks like I can't edit the thread. I'll just repost my checklist.
[ $20 ] 20 Gallon Long tank - Wait for the $1/gal sale at Petco
[ $25.99 ] Hood - 30" Glass canopy
[ $39.99 ] 20 Gallon Long Aquarium stand - this one
will probably put tank on the bottom though, I'd be worried my giant 75 dog would run into it and knock it over. Maybe will add another tank with some other fish in the future to the top one?
[ x ] Heater - Hydor 100w Submersible
[ $11 ] Filter - Sponge filter
[ $10.61 ] Pump - Tetra Whisper Air Pump 40
[ $42.99 ] Lightbulbs - Nicrew LED Aquarium Light, 28-36"
[ ] Organic potting soil - no idea? I could use some suggestions! Preferably something I could buy online or at a pretty common store, i.e. Wal-Mart or Lowe's Hardware.
[ $7.99 ] Cap - Black Diamond Blasting Abrasives
[ ] Hard scrape - Driftwood
[ ] Naja grass
[ ] H. corymbosa
[ ] Rotala indica
[ ] Echinodorus bleheri
[ ] Microsorium pteropus
[ ] Vesicularia dubyana
[ ] Limnobium laevigatum
I'd love to do a java moss wall as well as the backdrop of the tank!
Also, what do you guys think of these
? They're so pretty!
Heater: I found the Aqueon Pro
to be better and more reliable than the Hydor (I've tried two or three Hydors, the last one I just threw away, but others find they work well)
Soil: Might try Miracle Gro Organic Potting Soil, a think layer beneath your Black Diamond sand (see the NPT sticky on this forum it's great). That's what I did. In my shrimp tank, I have just sand (blasting sand, well washed) and the plants do well, but I don't have heavy root feeders (e.g. swords).
Filter: If you're going to go sponge filters, you might just stick a powerhead on top instead of going with an airpump. Up to you. The bubbles popping on the surface sound bugs me, so I went with the near-silent powerhead (Aquaclear 20
, in my case)
Lights: I'm sure that one is fine. I use the Finnex Stingray and it has been fabulous.
Driftwood: Different types leach more or less tannins. Up to your preferences. Spiderwood very little, for example. Others might leach for a while (which your betta will enjoy, just a preference thing)
Plants: I'd recommend thinking about aquascaping before you set up. See this link: Aquatic Layout Guide- Rules of Composition: The Golden Ratio, Creating Perspective and Layout Shapes - The Green Machine
. Then if a plant doesn't work for you (e.g. my pygmy chain sword never took off) for a given aquascaping function, you can pick a different plant (e.g. I used dwarf sag and it carpeted nicely). Also my expensive lesson was: Be prepared to have 'easy plants die on you, and rather than going nuts trying to figure out what's wrong, just keep what thrives in your particular setup/water.