Hi! I am new to the forum. I have kept fresh water fish tanks since a kid. The last 3 years I have been keeping simple fish only marine tanks. I had to close down the marine tanks and gave away all my gear when i became a dad and had no time. I haven't had a fish tank for 2 years or so. I am now starting up again with a fresh water tank because I missed the plants! I decided to start really slow and want to keep the setup as cheap and "DIY" as possible whilst attempting to keep it looking good. Currently what I have: 3 ft tank. 3 weeks old. no sump. trying to keep this simple. no stand. just an existing shelf/table. open top LED flood light 6000k (cheapy from hardware store) "light dusting" of play sand as substrate. I want to stay away from thick substrate soil this time. rocks from local stream drift wood from local beach. it floats so I had to weigh it down with the rocks. The wood has also made the water very yellow/red. I am not too worried about this. The livestock seem to like it. live stock = ghost/feeder shrimp from local stream and one mayfly. some shrimp have berries after 3 weeks. no aquatic plants yet. I am keen on anubias and java moss one day. Filter = sponge/air filter. the shrimp like being able to pick at the debri on it. experimental pothos plant for nitrate removal. I made a "hanging basket" type holder for the pothos out of PVC rain gutter. The Pothos cuttings are looking healthy.