Planted tanks cost between $118.93-$858.87 is everything is brand new. A 5-10 gallon tank can be realistically set up for between $150-$250.
Small amounts of aquarium salt will slow plant growth but will not cause them to die. Most plants can tolerate 2 tbsp/g for a few weeks.
Air stones are not necessary for planted tanks. But they are useful for replenishing CO2 in the water by increasing surface agitation.
Planted aquarium phosphate should be between 0.5 and 1.0 ppm. Some phosphate is good for plants to absorb nutrients and store energy.
Activated carbon filters to not directly harm aquarium plants. But they do absorb nitrogen, CO2, iron and other important plant nutrients.
Planted aquariums are about as easy to maintain as unplanted tanks. They require between 20-60 minutes of maintenance per week.
Organic potting mix or soil can be safely used in freshwater planted aquariums. They contain an abundance of beneficial nutrients for plants.
Sponge filters area great option for sand substrate tanks. They will collect a small amount of sand over time or if you stir up sand.
Planted tanks do not need heaters as long as the temperature is between 22.0-32.5°C (71.6-90.5°F). But heaters are important if you have fish.
The best way to gravel vacuum planted tanks is by lightly syphoning the top layer of the substrate for loose debris without uprooting plants.
The best way to hide an aquarium sponge filter are by buying a smaller size and simply cleaning it more frequently. Also, behind stem plants.