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Hello and welcome to TFK! What a wonderful gift. The only concern I have, is that Christmas is approaching fast. If you do not get the tank up and running, it will be precarious to add that many fish at one time. You can start out with a few hardy fish, but you may want to read about cycling fishless. Though this would mean an empty tank come Christmas. It is the safest way for the fish. Cycling the tank first. Then there is the issue of quarantine. If you buy all these fish at once or without keeping them apart in qt and observing them, you run the risk of getting others sick, if one or more is carrying a disease or parasites. You will want to get all of the equipment first. For a tank this big with plants a nice big canister filter would be great.
You will need liquid test kits, a master API is good. Or you can purchase them separately. That is what I do. I believe the kits are bigger.
For plants, going into it without having had recent experience, and keeping ease of care down, you could choose plants similar to those I presently have in my 90 gallon. You will want large specimens.
Amazon sword, ozelot sword{add a bit of color} anubias barteri barteri, or something like a large coffeefolia. A java fern mat is a good choice. Some tiger lotus are fun and beautiful. You will need to get lighting that will remain under 2 watts per gallon. This way you still have low light. You can supplement the swords with root tabs. Tahitian moon sand is better than sand, and comes in black. It is acually a very fine gravel that resembles sand, but you won't get the problem of the sand blowing up like real sand does. It is much easier to clean than sand as well. Plants do help uptake some nutrients, but over stocked is still over stocked. How many are you considering of each species?
Bosmani rainbows would look great in this set up, or other large rainbows. Threadfin rainbows are gorgeous.
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