We have several tanks, our main community tank is a 25 gallon marineland tank stocked mainly with Platys, some black phantom tetras, otocinclus, wood shrimp (a.k.a. bamboo shrimp, flower shrimp, filter shrimp, or many other names), ghost shrimp, amanos, and golden back shrimp. This is a low tech tank. Plants, careful balance of bacteria and infusoria, planeria, and various plants make for a more efficient nitrogen cycle and allow for minimal maintenance and water changes, the water spangles grow like mad and get culled weekly. PH is balanced with almond leaves and cholla wood. Plants currently in this tank include: Pearl Weed, Various Amazon swords, Monte Carlo, Salvinia minima (water spangles), Ludwigia Repens, Java moss, Java Fern (windelov), marimo moss balls, unknown repens clipping This current tank has been set up for about 6 months, parameters have remained stable with almost no input aside from feeding, an occasional additional leaf if the PH comes down below 6.9 to 7.0, and a water change every 4 to 6 weeks of approximately 10%.The yellow tint is tannin from the cholla wood and leaves, and the light is softer and more shaded because the water spangles are thick. Our fish seem to prefer the shaded areas, and most of our plants don't require heavy light to grow, so we let the tank remain somewhat lower light level than average for their comfort.
Well planted, cycled, and living tanks with light bioload from fish and heavy growth of plants can really make for a healthier tank. Quarantine any additions before adding them of course!Any plants from the store I rinse gently in tap water and leave in a quarantine tank for at least a few days to make sure nothing is growing on them and I didn't get any hitchhikers. Fish are also kept for a week in the quarantine tank before being admitted to the community tank.
Pearl Weed, Various Amazon swords, Monte Carlo, Salvinia minima (water spangles), Ludwigia Repens, Java moss, Java Fern (windelov), marimo moss balls, unknown repens.
My girlfriend and I got into having small tanks after moving into a condo where a single large tank was not an option, we now have two 25 gallon, three 5 gallon, and two 10 gallon tanks spread around where we breed various shrimp and platy, and keep two community tanks.