Before I get started on my new setup, I thought I'd share a few old pics of my setups from past years.
My first foray into a true planted aquarium back in the early 2000's. But the tank has been there since the 80's. Sand substrate with an underlay of laterite. No CO2 aside from a short period experimenting with a DIY soda bottle setup. DIY hood with compact flourescent bulbs from woolworths. Successful plants were crypts, anubias, hygro, val and water sprite. Housed a variety of fish over the years including kribensis, bristlenose, various gouramis, angelfish, golden barbs and assorted tetras. It's now sitting unused in the garage, but I'll get it back up and running at some stage. This tank has been replaced in the entrance of the family home with a 72" housing an assortment of catfish and gouramis.
Typically plain gravel or some sort of black sand I picked up from Bunnings or the garden store. No additives but the Kribs loved moving it around. Crypts, Anubias and Java Fern were the only plants in there due to the low light. I breed many a Krib in this tank, gotta love 'em!
Living in a 1 bedroom townhouse for 5 years, this was the best aquarium I could find to squeeze into limited floor space! Plain gravel substrate with Val, amazon sword, java fern. It housed glowlights, angels and kribs at various stages.