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First Planted Tank - Help with Set up plans


New Member
1 Jan 2021
Hi All - First time poster and about to embark on my first planted tank ever (or any aquarium actually). Want to say a big thank you to all the posters on here as the help/tutorials and amount of detailed research on this forum is amazing and has been invaluable to me as I plan. I've been researching for about a month and a half so think I've got a good basic idea of the theory, but wanted to get this out here and ask for help as appreciate theory will be a lot different to reality! Ultimately the plan is to run a high tech planted tank with a medium fish stock and medium light plants. All items are about to be delivered over next few days - should have probably got this out beforehand! -but want to sanity check what I'm doing. Sorry for the long post.

Set up -
65L / 17 G Column tank (I know..) to fit within a bookcase. 35cm(L) x 35cm(W) x 58cm (H)
Light - x1 TMC Grobeam 1500 Ultima ColourPlus (will DIY polished aluminum reflector to intensify as surface area is quite small and substrate deep).
Filtration: x2 Fluval 107 w/ Spray bar for each (the second is more for water circulation toward bottom of tank). Assume I will have to limit the circulation rate.
Water circulation/Oxygenation: Both spray bars on back wall horizonal facing toward front of the tank. One at the top and one half way down, about 30cm deep.
Co2: Ordered a Fluval kit but swapping the regulator with solenoid integrated, 2 stage, needle value etc.
Substrate: ADA Amazonia / No Cap
100w Heater

1) Anyone have experience with 2ft depth and a single Growbeam light? The tank dimensions are small it's just the depth, I will struggle getting another light on-top of the tank, most LED bars are too long, AI Prime 16HD was considered, but more expensive and worried it's overkill, same with Kessil A160...would these be necessary? About £100 more expensive.
I want to grow :
Fissidens - Moss Wall - upper half of the tank on the back. Planted between Hygrolon and Epiweb
Christmas Moss - on Bonzai branches - lower and mid 2/3rds of tank
On substrate: Reineckii Mini and Lidwigia Reopens (or Rotala Wallichi may be too difficult)
Will I get enough light at substrate for this mix of plants?
2) If I limit the flow rate of pumps, will 2 spray bars be okay, especially the one submerged in the middle of the tank or will it create too much flow for the plants? Basically worried about circulation at the bottom, is there a better way to do this, thought of a powerhead but for little extra cost I can get the added filtration as well. Should I put the spray bars on the side of the tank? The dimensions are the same so probably will make no difference, perhaps better aesthetically as will only have a front view in bookcase..?
3) As a complete noobie - I bet there is something obvious I'm missing that would make all or a part of this plan impossible, don't hold back...
4) Bioload. I will cycle tank with no plants/fish and will probably wait a while after planting before introducing any fish. But in terms of bio-load in a small tank, I'm thinking Betta, 6-7 Neon Tetra, a few snails and maybe 3 pygmie cory (will have front 1/3 of tank with sand and rock barrier to soil behind. Is this reasonable or too much?

Tank Front View.PNG

Thanks everyone in advance and appreciate any honest feedback that's available. Nothing is set up yet so have flexibility in changing thinking and/or approach.

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