Just wanted to thank everyone for sharing their expertise, opinions, and passions here.
I'm new to the forum and returning to the wonderful world of fish after 20 years or so. Finally, after 5 years or talking about it, got my partner interested in the idea of setting up an aquarium. I kept a 20 gal
in college with a couple of gourami and loved it, but kept getting frustrated and confused and eventually gave up (who knew cycling correctly from the start and testing would make life better later on). Coming back I vowed I would research and figure out how to avoid the frustrations of youth as I've grown old and crotchity.
I stumbled across this forum and WOW what a difference it has made. I no longer feel like my OCD is is driving the desire to have a plan, but that having a plan really is the right way to go! Yea! I'm not as crazy as I thought.
We started last weekend with the biggest tank we could afford and that would fit our space and decor - an Aqueon 36 Gal
bowfront kit. Tank size is great for our space. Setting it up as freshwater community. Eventually, slowly, patiently, and with filter and lighting upgrades we're planning a natural looking planted tank with a few (4 - 6) dwarf gourami varieties, a school of serpae tetras, a small school of cory and perhaps some cherry shrimp. And, for the partner, a small homage to Spongebob Squarepants (never too old for cartoons!).
Thanks for all the great advice posted here and for the assurance that my obessive complusive disorder is not in control....or at least if it is, I'm not alone!