I'm thinking of starting up a biotope of either my local river or lake, but I have a few questions about the technicalities of it. It would be a ten gallon, as that's all I have room for. The only fish in the lake/river are mosquitos, and I think they'd outgrow the 10gal, although I'm not sure. I'd most likely end up with just snails/plants and maybe a few 'water bugs'.
My first question is substrate. I would use the sand from the water source, correct? Should it be rinsed or just placed directly in the tank?
Second question is lighting. The tank would be situated on a nightstand, in front of a southern facing window. Would I still need a light fixture for plants? Should I paint the back of the tank black to block out the sun?
And finally filtration. The lake obviously doesn't have a 'current' and the river has a very slow one. Do I just keep the tank very filled to avoid a strong filter current?
Thanks for any help! If anyone else out there has set up a local biotope, I'd love to hear about your experiences :D