I wanted to introduce myself. I am still a relative newbie to the hobby. I have had a Fluval Edge 12 gallon for 11 months with good results (only 2 casualties and neither I believe were related to the tank).
I actually started out when my 6 yo grandson Tim wanted Betta fish, which we bought from Petco, kept in separate tanks, and which were named FLower Rocket and Cupcake Rocket by Tim. Unfortunately, I had no clue what I was doing and just thought changing the water now and then (tap water) would be adequate. No thermometer, no idea about cycling or what it even was, or anything else really. The results were predictable: there were several generations of Flower Rocket and Cupcake Rocket (unbeknownst to Tim) who believed they were the originals. Eventually I realized this was cruel and wanted to set up a better tank. This led
to the Fluval Edge (which seemed like quite the step up) last December.
I have had much better luck with the Fluval, learned about cycling, do gravel sweeping and partial water changes. The tank is at its bioload limit: 3 cory cats, 4 mollies, 3 glo-tetras, and yes, 1 betta who is nameless (Tim won it at the recent aquatics expo in Schaumburg IL and with much trepidation, I put it in with the others and closely monitored for any aggression. All went well. I leave the tank slightly below full to allow the Betta access to surface air).
The family has been wanting a bigger tank now that we have kept the Fluval going a year, and we found what we wanted at the aquatics show, a new line of tanks (not sure if I can say the company). We have the 85 gallon tank on order. After much deliberation, I decided to stay freshwater and planted because I did not want the additional time and fuss or expense of a saltwater. Plus, I want to transfer over the Fluval gang to the new tank as I don't want to have to care for 2 tanks. I did opt for sump filtration with a ghost oveflow in case I ever change my mind, and because that also seems just like a good filtration system even if more expensive.
I have been going nuts watching You tube videos put out there by other hobbyists (some good, some horrendous and of dubious expertise) to learn how to set up my new tank when it comes (probably after Christmas 2015), how much substrate and what kind for a planted tank, and what tank mates I can safely add to my existing community over time. I have beginning lists of all these things with my current thinking on them but would love advice from some of the expert hobbyists here on do's and don'ts. My goal is to have my tank look as close as possible to the one in the attached picture.
Thanks for reading. Looking forward to participating and learning a lot.