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Tank setup opinions wanted

Hi Folks,

I'm new to the list (hello), but been reading rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
for a while.

I've just bought a cube tank (18"x20"x24"), and am considering two
options: a planted tank, or a seahorse tank.  I'm leaning torwards
planted because it will be (hopefully) prettier and slightly less

I'll be purchasing a Co2 tank, regulator, ect., using onyx substrate.
I tried DIY yeast, but could never get the mix/seal/whatever right,
it's just too annoying to bother with.  The tank is pretty deep,
so I'm considering a 175w metal halide pendant.  Filtering will
either be a aquaclear 300, or buying a canister filter.

I allrdady have a good stock of plants, I'm using a 20-xtall as my
current planted tank.  It's going along well, you can barely see
the gravel (poor corys!).  30w of light, plants torwards the top
are growing well.

So now the questions:

I'm worried that the tank will be too tall to do regular maintennance.
My 20 x-tall is a PITA to work on the botton of the tank, I have
to remove water when I put my arm in or I'll spill water all over
the place.  It seems that I'll have the same problem with my new
tank, unles I always trim just the top.

Should I get a canister, or go with my AQ?  I like the idea of
injecting CO2 into the canister (no reaction chamber taking space
up in the tank), but it means that I'm spending more $$$ when I
have a perfectly good aquaclear.

My tapwater is KH 1.  Ph out of the tap 9 (!), after it sits for
a day, ph ~7.5.  This seems strange to me.  I've herad that water
companys drive out all the CO2 before putting it into the pipes
(hence the high ph), but a KH of 1 seems really low.  Should I be
adding baking soda so my ph dosen't swing too low when I inject

Dosing: I assume that I should do PMDD, but it seems like too much
work.  Can I just dose Flourish instead?  Other than weekly water
changes, I'd like too keep it as low maintennance as possible.

I guess that's enough for now.  Thanks for the help.