Description: Feshwater. Very soft and acidic. I live in a very Hardwater area of So Cali so getting the water to a 6.5 PH was challenging. I have a wet/dry trickle filter/Sump, 2 Magnum 350 canisters. One that has fluval Peat Pellets to keep the water soft and acidic. A Emperor 400, and 3 seperate UG filters powered by 3 Aqua Clear PH's that are on a timer to switch on and off. I have over 120 lbs of fine natural color gravel, some very nice pieces of Malaysian drift wood, and all plants are Tetra WaterWonders Plastic Plants. I have some VHO actinic and 10000k white lights as well as some German Metal Halides that I used in my reef tanks. There is a total of approx 160 gallons total. I use API deionizer for water changes which i do not buffer. An Ampmaster 3200 pump keeps everything circulating. FIsh are happy, healthy and spawning like rabbits. I keep a blackwater theme and house mostly SAmerican tetras and chiclids.
Advice: Start with the biggest and best you can afford. It will pay off in the long run. Spend time understanding H2O chemistry and read and learn about everything you're trying to accomplish before you try anything.
About Yourself: I've had a fish tank since I was a kid. At 40 years old and successful, I am able to afford all of the more exotic wild-caught fish and goodies. I've been around the world and am multi-lingual. I have seen many beautiful aquariums and built this one the way I've always wanted it.