Hi all, glad to be a part of the forum. It looks like a friendly, active place :)
We had fish when I was growing up; however I did a lot more of the 'watching' than the 'maintaining' so I'm "sort of" a beginner.
We've got a 12 gallon Eclipse tank, mostly because space is very tight. The filter in the hood is effective and aesthetically pleasing; a bit awkward for maintenance. It's been running since late summer and recently I had to replace the impeller. Cleaning, even soaking in vinegar for over two hours, didn't eliminate the vibration it caused. I suspect I may have bent it ever so slightly when removing it for cleaning. Next time I plan on completely removing the filter assembly so I can access it better rather than holding it with one hand while removing the impeller assembly with the other.
As far as inhabitants, we have 5 Harlies and one Hillstream loach (sold as a "stingray pleco". All seem to be happy and are active. After debating what to get to complete the stocking I've decided a couple more Rasboras would probably be best. I've added a bubbler; the tank backs up to a mirror so it really looks like a ton of bubbles coming up the back!
I have some smooth aquarium rocks I have to add to the substrate for the Hilly.
I try to do an approximate 20% water change once a week; once every two at the most.
Look forward to being part of the forum!