So I've been on AqAdvisor for awhile now, and have tried to have a lightly planted tank and have had success with crypts and anubias (not java fern though), and that's about it. (I've tried Vals-got them from my moms ex, they grow like weeds in his 90 gallon, all he has is eco complete and lights, no CO2, no ferts, been like that for 10 years I think he said), Amazon Swords, some German Sword, and a few others, all died due to insufficient lighting/fertilizing I believe. I had some sort of small hair grass/sword plant that did pretty well, it spread runners a lot. It just got moved around too much in the playsand. Now that I have just purchased a 75 gallon that has a built in sump (along with everything else one needs for an aquarium, nice black stand, all glass cover, etc I haven't had a chance to look at the lighting yet, but it has two bulbs, I will look at the wattage/type tonight when I get off work) for $160! I am wanting to make sure I do it up really nice, since it will be my largest tank yet! Right now, I am debating on whether I should just order a few backs of Eco Complete (granted it's probably more expensive, it doesn't get easier then just dumping it in the tank), or going the DIY route, and have mineralized top soil sand with a pool filter sand cap (although I live in a an apartment, so it will have to be done at my bf's parents house probably), OR go even cheaper, and just do Pool Filter Sand with homemade root gel cap (or ice cube) fertilizers using osmocote plus (which I did before, it was awful for play sand though, they just kept rising to the top. I don't want a really fancy planted tank with dosing ferts and having CO2 and halogen lights, I want it to be fairly cheap and easy to manage, no CO2, little to no ferts (I bought some SeaChem ones before, they didn't seem to do anything for my plants). My moms boyfriend just has eco complete and fairly good lighting, and the guy at the LFS told him not to do CO2, it'd be a waste of money basically. His plants are flourishing, especially the vals! For plants, I basically just want jungle vals, crypts, anubias, and some sort of small hairgrass/sword plant for the front. A few lily plants as well. (again, my moms BF's are just thriving in his tank with just the Eco complete). I don't want it to be heavily planted, more on the mid moderate side probably. Oh and subwassertang as well! I NEED to be cost effective, so if you think I could accomplish having the above plants grow fairly well in just PFS with some homemade ferts, that'd be the best. If not, do you think just plain eco complete, or MTS with PFS cap be the better route. Although it's more expensive, I am almost leaning towards eco complete, just because it'd be a lot less work. For my fauna for sure I will have: 1 Senegal bichir, 1 blood parrot (these both are for sure going in there) I know they aren't ideal planted tank fish, but my BP has never harmed my plants, and I've seen heavily planted tanks on youtube with a senegal and no issues. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF4a57LrwoM (Do you think they just used sand, or MTS with sand cap) I plan on having more rocks/some driftwood probably though. Any other suggestions or tips would be appreciated! Thanks!