Wow, very unexpected growth from the ferns.
Looking at this tank on a day to day basis, I didn't notice any growth. My thoughts were "do I have enough CO2? lighting?" And then I realized they're plants.
I did a trim today, pulled most of the dead leaves off, gently brushed the moss with my fingers, and waved the mini java moss around a little bit. My plants seem a little happier today. I try to be minimally invasive when maintaining my aquariums, so 10-15 minutes (at most) with my gross hands every few days.
I wanted to tear this tank down many times...
Here's a full-tank shot. It's not an ADA beauty, but it did the trick. I kept my eyes on the plants and they responded.
Here's a frontal day shot. I actually like it.
When I first started this tank, I was a complete newbie with about 3 years of experience barely maintaining my nano-cube. I didn't care much for it and lost interest.
My interest sparked again a few months ago, and I got into this hobby full-steam. I'm not going anywhere with it now.
I think regular maintenance is the key to a nice aquarium. I don't really think the equipment needs to be that good... Just the setup and maintenance.