I recently "acquired" a 55-gallon tank from the inlaws. This tank is currently empty with filter (I think its a tetra) and a heater (only markings are 300w). It has the standard plastic canopies with standard lighting.
I am almost done with a the stand it will sit on 4x4 and 2x4 frame with an oak facade (turning out better than I was thinking since I have no background in woodworking).
Now, I have about a $200 budget for the setup of the tank (substraight, decor and maybe a new filter and/or heater) "maybe more if I can sweet talk the wife" :)
I plan on keeping a general community tank with a few Blue Rams and Keyhole Cichlids with some sort of Tetra or barb, maybe a few smaller loaches...
What type of Substraight should I choose, I don't plan on going planted, I was just going to get the petco special $15/25lb gravel, any other ideas, pros/cons?
I was thinking replacing the Filter with a Penguin 350 or emperor 400. Not sure what the difference is but most everything I have been reading is saying the Penguin 350 is a great filter.
I am looking for ideas for decor as well.
Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.