Well I have had an empty 8 gallon tank just sitting empty in my garage so I decided that I would start a new venture. At first I just wanted to start some moss to put in my goldfish aquarium and as I began to do research I ended up wanting to start a non mechanical planted tank. It has been going for a couple weeks now. I added some easy to grow plants and snails to get the cycle started. I plan on adding a shrimp and some platy once all my parameters are ready for some livestock other than snails. I started with black sand and wish I would've added nutrient rich soil in the beginning. I haven't added any fertilizer yet but made a DIY Co2 system and a sponge filter. But as I stated in the beginning I wanted non mechanical but I kinda caved because I don't have enough plants to filter the water yet. I'm trying to keep the costs low. So far it's looking good and waiting for the Co2 levels to climb a little. It's a fun little project that requires very little maintenance.