I put this tank up last June and have never had a major meltdown. I have rooted around and pulled up a C. spiralis root ball the size of a softball, so it gets some rearranging from time to time.
20XH, currently has about 2wpg NO, XP1 canister
lower 2" of substrate are 50/50 Flourite/quartz gravel with a good handful of peat, top 2" is Onyx sand with some Estes black gravel. I use root tabs from time to time. This pic is from early Dec.
I don't like nano tanks, so haven't tried one, but I would prefer this kind of setup if I did one. Less water means things happen faster, so I wouldn't want a fast little tank. Just my pref.