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Hi,
I live in Davie and had a magnificent 129 gal coral reef that was the "talk of the town!" As with most things in my life, it became to beautiful, so I had a friend break it down and display it in a store! (several years ago!)

I just fixed my home office with a great desk, and would like to have a simple, low maintanance (I realize that all tanks must be maintained!)set-up.

I have researched google and decided that I want a neon or crdinal tetra only tank. It seems that I should start out with a 30 gallon tank at least 24" long, but preferably 30" long x 12" wide x 16" high.

I have 33" in a quiet corner with no direct sun and would use a stand.

What kind of filtration, light, artificial or real plants, etc. Where should I buy, and who has the safest cardials and neons to buy! Best ideas for de-nitrification appreciated. I still have memories of my tonage of live rock that took forever, but wow was it worth it! I have a feeling that this fresh water tank will be a little easier!:)

Any and all information is greatly appreciated.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

This all tetra set-up will definitely be less up-keep than the awesome-sounding reef you are used to. 30g would be perfect for a good-sized school of tetras. From my experience, I'd absolutely recommend cardinals over neons; they seem to be hardier and I think their coloration is a lot nicer.
Planted tank with live plants for sure. There a lots of different plants that could work in that size tank; I have swords and java ferns in most of my tanks and I think they are aesthetically pleasing. Easy to grow too.
HOB filter would be fine; Aquaclear makes great filters that are quiet and never break. I'd recommend getting one that's rated for up to 50g since you're usually better off with a little bit more flow.
Fluorite is a great substrate for planted aquariums; if you don't like the color of it you can always put a layer of it at the bottm and then cover it with the substrate you really want. That's of course not necessary, but the stuff is nice.
I use CoraLife bulbs in most of my tanks; there are plenty of fixture options, but you won't need anything close to what your reef had. Just standard lighting.
Sounds like a fun set-up. Might I suggest starting a colony of cherry shrimp once you have had the tank up and running for a few months? They love heavily planted tanks and look really good.
 

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Welcome to the site!
 

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Queen Platy
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*welcome w-smiles

I wish to move up to reef one day
 
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