Well I think it's about time for an update -
I just got back from my 3 week trip away, and this tank was needing some love to say the least. I cleaned it up nice, and there are many new upgrades and additions here and on the way.
First and foremost, I received my GLA Primo CO2 system and I couldn't be happier with it.
I also swapped the Zoo Med 501 for an Eheim 2211, and the in tank drop checker for a Cal Aqua clip-n.
I ended up ditching the tree for now, at least until I can find the perfect bonsai-style piece that will fit this tank. I ordered a nice branch from PC1 that I think will look great in the meantime.
Stock-wise, I picked up 11 CPDs and threw in some Brazilian pennywort and a dwarf lily for fun, and am awaiting 10 OEBTs. Also have some cool plants coming from fellow MA resident h4n (Elatine triandra, Rotala mini butterfly, and more Stauro repens).
The HC is super thick now, and it's mingling with the Hydrocotyles nicely. Starting to get the lush meadow-effect I've been after. I just ordered a couple more pairs of scissors, including double bend, because I think if the HC gets much thicker the bottom-most stems may die off soon.
So that's the state of this tank as of today. I will update again when I get everything being shipped. Here's a couple shots from this morning, the fish are still a little shy: