planning stage ... trying to estimate cost of tank
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planning stage ... trying to estimate cost of tank

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planning stage ... trying to estimate cost of tank
Old 10-22-2007, 06:19 PM   #1
 
planning stage ... trying to estimate cost of tank

hello all,

i am in the planning stages for a 90-gallon or 110-gallon heavily planted, low-tech tank. can you help me figure out if my plan is realistic? i am also trying to figure out how much it will cost so if you see anything expensive that i missed please let me know.

i have found a nice stand for $379 and glass aqarium for $250. planning to use eco-complete as my substrate, guessing i will need about 140 pounds of it for 3" depth so that's about $140... plus plants, decorations, and fish.

i would like to use DIY sponge filters on this tank because i think it looks better than something hanging off the back of my tank but it's less expensive than a sump...do you foresee any problems with using sponge filters on a big tank? would i have enough water circulation?

and as for lighting ... my tank spot is right next to a southwest window that gets 6 hours of direct sunlight every day (more in the winter) so i'm hoping to get away with just a cheap hood with a fluorscent bulb for viewing purposes only, and rely on the sunlight to give my plants the light they need ... this has worked really well for my 7-gallon tank but for a bigger tank do you think it is realistic? would i need to supplement with more intense lighting?

and one more question ... to get the tank to this spot i will have to stand it on its end like a fridge and carry it vertically up the stairs...because my stairs are so twisty...is that bad or likely to cause breaks? this is really the perfect spot for a tank. it's right above a weight-bearing wall and the afternoon light would be so pretty on the plants, and it's in the room where i spend most of my time so i can enjoy the tank more.

if you can think of anything that might be problematic or might be more expensive than i thought let me know ... this will be my 2nd tank so i am still very much a beginner. :)
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Old 10-22-2007, 08:44 PM   #2
 
At my lfs a 90g All-Glass (manufacturer) aquarium, glass canopies, and wood stand, runs about $399. Lighting (an Obit compact fixture w/ (2)96w actinic, (2) 96w Sunpack bulbs, and (4) moonlights) $157.99. Eco-complete plant substrate runs $15.99 for 20# bag. As for using sponge filters, I am currently using Marineland 1140 powerheads with the sponge adaptors on a 70g tank with no problems. The filtering system is also using an Emperor 400 power filter. The powerheads run $17.99 each nd the adaptors are $6.79 each. The power filter is $49.99. These prices, excluding the tank package, are from www.petsolutions.com . I have used them with great success. The are very fine people. Very courteous. Free delivery over $199.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:49 PM   #3
 
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Re: planning stage ... trying to estimate cost of tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogg
hello all,

i am in the planning stages for a 90-gallon or 110-gallon heavily planted, low-tech tank. can you help me figure out if my plan is realistic? i am also trying to figure out how much it will cost so if you see anything expensive that i missed please let me know.
Yes, I think we can help you. Keep in mind that prices will differ in different locations. My husband works at Allglass, so I have a good feel for the prices in various areas, and availability, also. If I know what city/state you are in, I can ask him for a list of retailers in your area. Part of the expense for the larger aquariums is in shipping charges, and the manufacturer only deals with distributors, and distributors only with retailers. There is no way to have a tank shipped directly from the manufacturer, even for custom work. Be sure to shop around for the tank and equipment, though. Prices vary by quite a bit due to retailer mark ups. Some stores will do a 4 time markup, some a 3 time... and if there's a special from a distributor in a given week or month, the markups can change the prices drastically. Be careful buying tanks online due to shipping and leaking/breakage issues. Nobody ships glass aquariums other than privately for this reason. A tank that has been "shipped" may come in looking good, but once it has water in it may suddenly give way or begin to leak from a broken seal or weakened seal during the "shipping" process. I have found that the cheapest places to obtain tanks is a local retailer who sells used or a warehouse type of store like Pet World or PetSmart. The markup on dry goods in a place such as this tends to be less because they have the space to buy things in bulk quantities, which earns them a discount on price.

i have found a nice stand for $379 and glass aqarium for $250. planning to use eco-complete as my substrate, guessing i will need about 140 pounds of it for 3" depth so that's about $140... plus plants, decorations, and fish.
Is there a specific reason for the eco-complete substrate? Do you know what plants you would like to work with yet? Your substrate should be determined based on what plants you intend to put there. Plants are as much individuals as fish are when it comes to species, some like more or less of various things including light, nutrient levels, temps, and pH, Co2 conditions, etc. Some plants will grow easier and some will grow faster, some get larger... some have bulbs, some have root structures, some have runners, which all requires different planting techniques. The first thing I would suggest is to sit down with pencil/paper and sketch out what you want, then figure out what it will take to provide for it. Based on this, you can then change things around before you spend the money (or lose the money) on plants that may only die under your conditions before you figure out what the problem is and can fix it. The fact that the tank will get 6 hrs of afternoon sunlight, directly, will make a huge difference in what kinds of plants will live in there. Anubias is a good example. You'll find quickly that so much direct sunlight will make it hard to keep their lighting low enough, and you will see burnt leaves until eventually the plant dies. When I set up a planted tank, I plan it out during cycling so I have water params to work with. I have had tanks up and running for months with simply water and filtration units, waiting for me to decide what plants I want or where they will go and what I still need to tweak for something special to make it work. I play with rock structures, too, creating what I want to for shelving and overhangs, which helps me to get a feel for what plants will look good in various places. I call this the fun part of setting up a planted tank, it changes so often until it is "just right". When I'm not quite sure if a plant will do well or not, I start with 1 where possible, or the bare minimum for that plant (some like to be crowded), and see how it does before I spend too much money on any species. The same thing applies for substrate. You can vary the degree of substrate in a tank to provide for different plants if you take your time. If some of your background plants require larger gravel, simply line that part of the tank with larger gravel, and then fill in the rest with another size, or gradually make it smaller as you move through the tank, according to where you wish to place specific plants. This makes for a very unique look for the finished aquarium, especially if you get creative and raise/lower elevation levels throughout.

i would like to use DIY sponge filters on this tank because i think it looks better than something hanging off the back of my tank but it's less expensive than a sump...do you foresee any problems with using sponge filters on a big tank? would i have enough water circulation?

You can do it using only sponge filters, but... be careful of phosphate issues and algae growths that can kill plants, especially with the amount of sunlight you are predicting for this tank. I did this with corner filters in my 65 gal tank, floss only in them, so the tank was completely biologically stable...but the flake food has enough phosphate in it, I found the need to add a small hang on with a phosphate remover to help save my plants. The hair algae grew so thick through my plants it began to choke them, and I typically spend 2 - 3 hrs/wk pulling baseball size clumps of algae from this tank, even when using the phosphate remover. This tank gets about 2 hrs of direct sunlight each day and I have cut the light by 4 hrs each day to help even more. Also, watch nitrate levels and stocking levels. Even in a fully planted tank, if you add too many fish or fish that outgrow the tank, too high of a nitrate level can damage many plants, burning roots, etc. Regular water changes are a must in a planted tank! Mineral content is often depleted quickly in a heavily planted tank, so a good fertilizer is also suggested, along with the frequent water changes. Be cafeful not to overdose fertilizers, too. That can lead to poor plant growth as much as not enough, and can trigger algae blooms, especially with the amount of natural light you speak of.
If working with just sponge filter, I would suggest the use of powerheads, submersible so they're easy to hide. Circulation will be important, and some plants and even the fish will have special needs for circulation. Circulation will also be important to provide your bacteria with enough to grow properly and to find food properly. Again, depending on the types of plants you wish to work with, you may find that varying the sizes of the powerheads will be best, placing them to blow the output where it is most needed without doing damage.

and as for lighting ... my tank spot is right next to a southwest window that gets 6 hours of direct sunlight every day (more in the winter) so i'm hoping to get away with just a cheap hood with a fluorscent bulb for viewing purposes only, and rely on the sunlight to give my plants the light they need ... this has worked really well for my 7-gallon tank but for a bigger tank do you think it is realistic? would i need to supplement with more intense lighting?
I doubt more intense lighting will be required, I would more expect that early on you will find the need to cover those windows during part of the sunlight hours to save yourself the headaches of scraping algae. Please be aware that plants tend to grow towards the light source, so you may find that all plants grow towards the windows. This may cause issues with them shading each other out later on, and it may "look funny" with certain types of plants. Again, simply be choosy on the plants you are selecting, plan, plan, plan, and be prepared to shade the tank if it is found later to be a problem. Avoid species of plants that can't handle the amount of light you are preparing to give it.

and one more question ... to get the tank to this spot i will have to stand it on its end like a fridge and carry it vertically up the stairs...because my stairs are so twisty...is that bad or likely to cause breaks? this is really the perfect spot for a tank. it's right above a weight-bearing wall and the afternoon light would be so pretty on the plants, and it's in the room where i spend most of my time so i can enjoy the tank more.

It should be fine in standing it up provided you have help in supporting the weight. Even empty, 90 - 110 gallon tanks are not light. Be careful in using the frame for gripping, as this can crack easily, as can the center brace, which, if cracked, will need to be replaced before filling with water. Replacing a cracked frame on that size of a new tank can be a pain in the butt and time consuming. Be careful not to lean it on the stairs, putting direct weight on any of the glass panels. Other than that, you should be ok. Is it possible to use a furniture dolly to take it up stairs? Wrap it in a heavy blanket on the dolly, strap it in tightly, and be very careful going up each step... this would be the safest way to move it up winding stairs on end, and I still suggest a 2nd person on the other end to help ease it up the steps to avoid vibration and give support to the weight.

if you can think of anything that might be problematic or might be more expensive than i thought let me know ... this will be my 2nd tank so i am still very much a beginner. :)
The only other thing I can think of to mention is to also pay attention to what fish you intend to put into this tank. Some will thrive more than others, and some will destroy your planted masterpiece quickly by eating and chewing the plants. What you are trying to create is called "the natural aquarium" without using outside filtration. This is very possible, I do it here all the time, but it also means more attention to detail and far fewer fish than a standard freshwater tank can hold. The balance has to come between waste levels/water quality, mineral content, and bacteria, as well as territory/compatibility, and temps. If you need more help, let us know, and be prepared to post pics when its done, I will really want to see this! This is my 65 gallon at present...I entered the full size tank pic in this month's contest, you can see it there!
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Old 10-24-2007, 01:01 AM   #4
 
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Well I could see a couple things that you may have problems with. The first is I don't think that a sponge filter is going to do it for the tank. The main reason is circulation, the next one is the fact that the sponge filter is going to get in the way of a lot of your aquascaping. I honestly trhink a canister filter is going to not only serve you better but will make for a better looking tank.

Natural sunlight for the main lighting. Only one thing i can think of, lots of dry fertilizers. Low tech is really out the window because the sunlight is going to give you light levels that are hard to achieve with artificial lighting. A very well balanced tank making sure that you always enough of everything plants need is going to be an absolute neccesity. If you have plenty of everyhting and run out of nitrates, plants start to stunt and algae takes over. Too little phosphate and your plants start to have problems and you get green spot algae. And so on and so forth. A really tight dosing regiment that is tweaked when needed if a deficiency shows up will give the best chances of awesome plant growth and as little algae is possible with natural sunlight.

The best advice I can give right now is be pateint and be ready to ask a lot of questions. If anything changes, ask about it. If the plants seem to change color, ask about it. If you have a specific algae, ask about it.

I would also consider learning as much as possible about the Estimative Index of dosing for fertilizers. If you are interested, let me know and I will find some articles I have both written and others have that willhelp you to understand it. The key is going to be to keep your plants extremely happy so they outcompete the algae for nutrients before algae becomes the main plant. I don't know why excess nutrients works but it does but a single nutrient bottoming out can cause a major headache.

Oh, one other thing, a second floor 90 gallon tank can be a disaster waiting to happen. Make sure the flooring is sturdy enough to handle 1000 lbs spread over the distance of the tank. Tank, stand, water, gravel etc.. can be some serious weight. Even being over a weight bearing wall the floor itself could be the weak point.

I realy would like to see a lot of posts about this tank. with the direct sunlight I imagine it is going to be a handful to maintain but if you can manage to do it through research and with our help it could be a step in the right direction for a new thought process concerning direct sunlight and planted tanks.
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:05 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish_4_all
Well I could see a couple things that you may have problems with. The first is I don't think that a sponge filter is going to do it for the tank. The main reason is circulation, the next one is the fact that the sponge filter is going to get in the way of a lot of your aquascaping. I honestly trhink a canister filter is going to not only serve you better but will make for a better looking tank.

Sponge can work if its done properly, and alongside of the powerheads I mentioned. It all depends on how you choose to do your aquascaping and what type of rock and such you are working with.

Natural sunlight for the main lighting. Only one thing i can think of, lots of dry fertilizers. Low tech is really out the window because the sunlight is going to give you light levels that are hard to achieve with artificial lighting. A very well balanced tank making sure that you always enough of everything plants need is going to be an absolute neccesity. If you have plenty of everyhting and run out of nitrates, plants start to stunt and algae takes over. Too little phosphate and your plants start to have problems and you get green spot algae. And so on and so forth. A really tight dosing regiment that is tweaked when needed if a deficiency shows up will give the best chances of awesome plant growth and as little algae is possible with natural sunlight.

Yes, attention to detail is a must when selecting plants and even substrate, and fertilizers, also. There is no reason why a liquid fertilizer can't be used, so long as it contains nutrients you know for sure are needed and it is not overdosed. My tanks don't use much for fertilizers so long as the water changes are kept up with regularly.


The best advice I can give right now is be pateint and be ready to ask a lot of questions. If anything changes, ask about it. If the plants seem to change color, ask about it. If you have a specific algae, ask about it.

Most definately!

I would also consider learning as much as possible about the Estimative Index of dosing for fertilizers. If you are interested, let me know and I will find some articles I have both written and others have that willhelp you to understand it. The key is going to be to keep your plants extremely happy so they outcompete the algae for nutrients before algae becomes the main plant. I don't know why excess nutrients works but it does but a single nutrient bottoming out can cause a major headache.

Again, it is all about creating and keeping proper balance.

Oh, one other thing, a second floor 90 gallon tank can be a disaster waiting to happen. Make sure the flooring is sturdy enough to handle 1000 lbs spread over the distance of the tank. Tank, stand, water, gravel etc.. can be some serious weight. Even being over a weight bearing wall the floor itself could be the weak point.

If the room/floor would hold a waterbed, you should be ok for sturdy flooring. I have kept 120 gallons and larger in upstairs situations, provided the floor is sturdy and safe. If it will hold a waterbed, a 90 - 110 gallon tank should be no issue at all for weight purposes.


I realy would like to see a lot of posts about this tank. with the direct sunlight I imagine it is going to be a handful to maintain but if you can manage to do it through research and with our help it could be a step in the right direction for a new thought process concerning direct sunlight and planted tanks.
I have seen and even maintained tanks that have direct sunlight exposure, done the natural method. While some situations are not the easiest to figure out or can become a challenge to stabalize, if you take your time, do a lot of research, and pay close attention to details, most tanks can survive what you are talking about creating. If the sunlight gets to be too much, you always have the option of covering those windows which shine directly on the tank during the hours of direct sunlight. Also, you may want to invest in a basic razor blade which will scrape through any hard algaes on the glass if it's needed from time to time.
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:58 PM   #6
 
It is obvious to me that afrogg has done some research in setting up his tank. He has realized that Eco-Complete is the substrate he wants to use. He also mentioned he wants to use sponge filters. Again, I laud him for his research as these will work when used correctly with powerheads as a power source, ie. Marineland 550r's or better with adaptors. One thing I would like to add here, I do not believe that sponge filters would work as a stand alone system. The addition of power filters, esternal filters such as Emperor 400 and/or internal filter such as a pair o Fluval 3+'s would be a great amendment to the filter system. I would also be open to adding a canister filter, ala the Fluval 205.

As far as the weight of an aquarium, did anyone know that a 125g aquarium weighs less per square foot that a full refrigerator?

Lighting with direct sunlight may be the optimal set up, but if problems arise due to lighting, it is awfully hard to regulate that lighting short of closing the curtain. This would definitely put a clamp on watching your fish in a darkenend room.

f4a may have traumatized the poor lad when talking about the Estimative Dosage Index Chart. Some think that this chart is over-emphasized and damn hard to figure out. Myself being one. The only chart I've seen that has estimated dosages would take a person with doctorate degrees in chemistry, botany, meso and quantum physics to figure out. There may be newer user freindly references out there but i haven't seen them, nor have I found the need to look.

I think that afrog has done a good job in researching the needs of his tank and determining what he should get to meet those ends. He may need some guidance, which is why we are here. I feel like he has been overwhelmed by the answers given. Again, I think he has done an outstanding job in researching, alot more than I did on some of my earlier tanks. Keep up the good work, afrogg. Keep in touch.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:20 PM   #7
 
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My intent was not to overwhelm anyone, just to be honest.. can it be done, yes... but it has to be done properly and carefully. Never did I think that anyone was jumping into this uneducated, I simply wished to explain some of the processes needed to make this sort of situation work. When I saw mentioned that a hang on was not desired if not needed, I simply wanted to add my encouragement that it can be done... just carefully.

As for the charts, I have never found a need for them either, and I agree they need a college education and maybe a tutor to read some of that stuff. You can keep a healthy, heavily planted tank without the chart info. I know this because I do it all the time.

I apologize if I overwhelmed anyone, I am used to having to be very thorough when I explain things to people. I agree that afrog, you have shown an incredible amount of independent research concerning your tank, and I still support your idea of working with a natural system. If I can be of any further help, please feel free to ask.
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Old 10-25-2007, 02:48 PM   #8
 
Thanks so much for your input everyone! this is all very helpful to me. i have some more additional info below to answer some of the questions...

If I know what city/state you are in, I can ask him for a list of retailers in your area.
- I live in southeastern PA (North Wales, PA)

Is there a specific reason for the eco-complete substrate?
- I picked it because my 7-gallon tank uses it and is doing very well (my first tank), and also I saw some posts where people recommended it as a good general-purpose substrate for a planted tank. In my 7-gallon tank I have 2" eco-complete with half an inch of black, medium-sized gravel on top. Is it a good idea to include the gravel layer too? It looks nice but I'm not sure what the plants prefer.

Can you guys/gals think of plants that might work for me for what i'm planning to do, and would they need different substrate? basically I want it to look like a meadow surrounded by trees. but I'm not sure yet which plants will work. My strategy in the past has been to plant lots of different plants and keep whatever doesn't die...

the kinds of plants i will need for my meadow are:

1) a very low-growing "grasslike" plant for an open area
2) something that will grow tall enough to reach the top of the tank (to help hide wires and filters since I won't have a background on this tank)
3) something mosslike that will attach to branchy driftwood and wave gently in the current.
4) some medium-height plants to look like "bushes" and tall grass ... for that I will probably use the plants that are already doing well in my 7-gallon tank ... baby tears, red melon swords, crypt lutea, moss ball ... I like these plants a lot especially the baby tears and they all seem very happy in this spot by the window.

My 7-gallon tank is located in the same spot where I want to put the new tank, and it's doing great, so I hope that's a good sign right? ... no algae outbreaks at all and my plants are growing very fast (especially the baby tears ... it's taking over my tank!) I have some algae growing on the rocks but other than that no algae. All of the plants are doing great except for anubias nana, which was doing better a few months ago before I had the tank in the window.

as for fish ... I am planning a very light fish load ... initially just 4 guppies and 3 yamato shrimp, and maybe add some other small fish after a while. but the plants will be the main focus in this tank.

herefishy, why do you recommend additional kinds of filters? I am pretty new to this ...

I read diana walstad's book and I am trying to do something similar to what she recommends. i am very excited about this tank!!
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Old 10-25-2007, 04:58 PM   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogg
Thanks so much for your input everyone! this is all very helpful to me. i have some more additional info below to answer some of the questions...

If I know what city/state you are in, I can ask him for a list of retailers in your area.
- I live in southeastern PA (North Wales, PA)

If you go here, type in your location info, you can locate a store nearest to you. I found 8 of them within 25 miles from you. Some may be willing to give a basic quote over the phone, some you may want to stop in and see what sales they have, especially with the holidays coming. Oceanic tanks are made in the same place that the all-glass tanks are made, the companies merged a few years ago, along with a few others. If you want the manufacturer's info, their website is now located at http://www.central.com, the new company name is Central Garden & Pets.


Is there a specific reason for the eco-complete substrate?
- I picked it because my 7-gallon tank uses it and is doing very well (my first tank), and also I saw some posts where people recommended it as a good general-purpose substrate for a planted tank. In my 7-gallon tank I have 2" eco-complete with half an inch of black, medium-sized gravel on top. Is it a good idea to include the gravel layer too? It looks nice but I'm not sure what the plants prefer.

If that's currently working for you, that's great. I had to ask because often times people aren't aware that they have options, and I have also seen pushy sales reps trying to sell people stuff they really don't need. I like to help spare pocketbooks where I can, I'd rather see money invested where it is more needed or saved for something much more helpful or useful in the future. There is nothing wrong with th eco-complete, I have just never found I needed it in order to grow a healthy fully planted tank. As for the gravel over that... what the plants will prefer will depend on the plant. Most plants will do just fine in a medium to fine grade of gravel if they are planted properly.

Can you guys/gals think of plants that might work for me for what i'm planning to do, and would they need different substrate? basically I want it to look like a meadow surrounded by trees. but I'm not sure yet which plants will work. My strategy in the past has been to plant lots of different plants and keep whatever doesn't die...

the kinds of plants i will need for my meadow are:

1) a very low-growing "grasslike" plant for an open area

You can try things like micro sword and dwarf sagitaria, both work fairly well in most tanks, both like to be crowded, and both have the potential to be quite messy, especially the micro sword. Micro sword will come to you looking like chunks of sod, don't pull it apart, simply anchor the clumps good in the gravel, a few clumps close together tends to take faster and do better. The dwarf sag is a bulb plant, you'll want to plant a lot of bulbs close together, again, they like to be crowded. The dwarf sag gets much taller than the micro sword (can get 6 - 8 inches). I'm not sure what's available to you in your area. Around here, those and java moss are as close as I seem to be able to find for "short" plants. There are others maybe someone else can introduce you to, as I know names and basics on some of them, I've never kept them personally (something I hope to change in the near future).

2) something that will grow tall enough to reach the top of the tank (to help hide wires and filters since I won't have a background on this tank)

Lots of options here... any of the larger sword plants, amazon, red rubin (one of my favorites), brazilian, melon, etc etc. Other tall options are needle sag (sagitaria) which is less messy than the vals... but any of the vals would work (you must skim the plant matter from the surface with the val or it will quickly break down and alter water quality).
For something "tree-like" you could try wisteria. Most of the bunch plants will grow tall if they have the room and the care, and are easily snipped back and replanted into the bunch to thicken it.


3) something mosslike that will attach to branchy driftwood and wave gently in the current.

You might want to try either java moss or the frilled java fern. If you anchor the root structure of a java fern to a piece of driftwood or wedge it between cracks in wood and/or rocks, the root structure will wrap around the structure. It's a very cool effect, and I've done it with plastic rocks until they are covered and solid plants. Be careful that the java fern doesn't get too much light, maybe plan to shade it with the other plants.


4) some medium-height plants to look like "bushes" and tall grass ... for that I will probably use the plants that are already doing well in my 7-gallon tank ... baby tears, red melon swords, crypt lutea, moss ball ... I like these plants a lot especially the baby tears and they all seem very happy in this spot by the window.

If you like the crypt lutea and are having good luck with it, maybe try also the crypt wendtii. The wendtii is a thicker leaf with a ruffled appearance, and you can get them in the red/bronze color forms as well as green. I have 2 tanks full of them, and their habits/needs are very similar to the lutea, but the effect is more of a "bush" and full plant.

My 7-gallon tank is located in the same spot where I want to put the new tank, and it's doing great, so I hope that's a good sign right?
That is a very good sign
... no algae outbreaks at all and my plants are growing very fast (especially the baby tears ... it's taking over my tank!) I have some algae growing on the rocks but other than that no algae. All of the plants are doing great except for anubias nana, which was doing better a few months ago before I had the tank in the window.

Anubias nana is light sensitive. You'll also want to make sure it's planted properly. There are actually 2 parts of the root structure, and it seems most people have the tendency to sink the whole rhizome under the gravel, which will make the steams and leaves turn yellow/brown and die off/fall off. Any of your anubias plants will want a shaded area, underneath the taller plants and away from the direct sunlight. You will know if they are getting too much light because the leaves begin to yellow, usually from the outer edges working its way in.

as for fish ... I am planning a very light fish load ... initially just 4 guppies and 3 yamato shrimp, and maybe add some other small fish after a while. but the plants will be the main focus in this tank.

herefishy, why do you recommend additional kinds of filters? I am pretty new to this ...

I read diana walstad's book and I am trying to do something similar to what she recommends.
That is a book I haven't had the chance to read yet, lol. What did you like about it most? Least?
i am very excited about this tank!!
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