As a birthday present to myself, I've been thinking about getting rid of my current 5g setup and getting myself a new one. I've always done tank kits in the past but I'd like to try something new, so I'm going to put everything together myself. This is very much still in the idea stage but I'm excited all the same! This is the tank that I would be replacing. 5g_1 by obl-wan posted May 21, 2017 at 10:08 PM It's an old Marineland Hex 5 Eclipse. I've had it for about six years, and my mom had it before me, so it's been kicking around for quite awhile. There aren't any real problems with it, but I'm honestly surprised it's lasted this long. And, I'm tired of replacing the cartridges in this thing. So, onto the build! The Tank Itself I'd like to go for a rectangular tank, but I have no idea where to get a good plain glass 5 gal. Every 5 that I've seen has been a kit. So, I'd really appreciate recommendations here. Filtration I'm open to ideas here. I've been thinking of sponge filters, but I'm really OK with everything as long as it's not too intrusive (so no internals). Heating I know I don't want a preset heater, and I want something that's slim. I don't know any good brands or models though so I need suggestions. Lighting I want something that's energy efficient and won't cost me an arm and a leg. I need something that can support plants (nothing too crazy, just enough to support very easy plants). Aeration If I do go with a sponge filter, I'm going to need an air pump. If I go this route I'll probably get a bubble wall as well. I'll need a quiet pump with at least 2 air outlets. Design I'll post a drawing of my design later, but for now here's a little bit of what I'm thinking. Substrate I've always loved the look of dark substrate, so I'm going to go for something dark, most likely black sand. Features I want to create a tank-length "cave" using PVC or something similar and anchored in the tank using silicone. It will also hide the filtration, heater, and bubble wall. I'll probably add some rocks under the cave to take up some space and make the area look less sparse. Plants I'm looking for carpeting plants that will grow and cover the top of the cave, and maybe some taller plants for the back of the tank. I really like the idea of having plants drape over the entrance of the cave. I'm not the best with plants, so I need some that will be easy to take care of. Stocking In the 5 gallon that I have now, I've kept shrimp, snails, ADFs, bettas, and even a dwarf puffer. I'm willing to try any of these again, but I'm also willing to branch out. I've been thinking that a betta would look pretty in this particular tank, but again, I'm open to suggestions. Please feel free to send me suggestions or comment on anything I forgot to include. Also, show me your own tanks! I love seeing what everyone else on here has done. Also remember that while I am willing to spend money on this tank, I am also a student working for minimum wage, so nothing too crazy!