Thanks for liking my tank. It has been interesting to see the different tanks on here.
I decided for the first time to make the tank (and the water of course) my priority and the fish and shrimp would then be happy. This is my first venture into small fish & shrimp.
The tank substrate is a type of black soil, not sure of its proper name, and is 3" deep. I got 2 of the biggest bits if bog wood I could fit in. Then just started planting. My other hobby is gardening and I used the same principles, arranging it trying to imagine what it would look like fully grown.
I use Seachem flourish excel daily (normal dose) and Co2
injection at a medium level. It probably only reaches 10ppm saturation - I had to be wary with the shrimps. Lighting is 2 x T8 42" tubes - one aimed at plant growth, one at fish colour. Lighting is on for 13 hours a day. I have been amazed at the plant growth.
The plant fish balance keeps Nitrates at 5 max but i do about 10% water change twice a week to keep it 'fresh'.
Was it expensive? If everything had been brand new then yes but I bought carefully and bought a lot off the Internet - avoiding LFS
where ever possible.
Good luck with your aquascaping. Post pics. Cheers. Steve.