I am considering doing a NPT or Walstad method in my 75 gallon. I'm just in research mode right now and the only planted tank I have experience with is the 2.5 gallon in my bathroom that only gets light from the window it's near. It has Java Fern and Crypt Wendtii with no ferts and a .5" course sand substrate.
I WOULD like to pretty heavily filter my 75, which isn't done in most NPT/Walstad tanks. I will be running two Emperor 400s. I will most likely be making a polystyrene and cement background to hide the heater and filters. As far as substrate, I would like to use an inch of Miracle Grow Organic Potting Mix with a play sand cap. I have NO clue what to do as far as lighting. The tank doesn't have a hood yet (Do they even sell hoods for 75 gallons??) so I was thinking about getting a 48" shop light and building a hood for this tank to hold the light and make it look nice. I don't know what I want as far as plants, but I know for sure I don't want to use CO2 and I will want dwarf hairgrass. My pH is very high out of the tap at 8.4, will this harm plants?
I like densely planted tanks, but I will probably be keeping it a bit more minimal, keeping it dense in the back and sides while the middle is carpeted, maybe with a "sand river". I do like to have SOME swimming room for the fish. Another thought was doing what I saw on another thread, a Beaslbob, but I cannot get ProChoice in my area, I want to run filters and I want a sand cap.
Again, I am just exploring my options and learning before I decide what to do with this tank. Any advice would be appreciated,