So… maybe I ordered too much Azoo Plant Grower Bed.
One bag is plenty, it seems:
Will have a couple bags left over. Guess I'll need to use it in one of my grow out tanks. Have an empty 20L that's just itching to be set up as another emersed rig. MORE PLANTS!
Wishing I'd been able to get my hands on Aquasoil Amazonia Powder Type. This will look okay for what I'm going for, I suppose.
As you can see, I'm finally getting around to scaping. Have things planned out on paper. Anubias nana will definitely be in between rocks, C. parva in the front corners and in front of rocks, Marsilea minuta in the center of the tank, Bacopa australis behind the rocks and maybe in the rear center of the tank. Mosses here and there.
Have decided that I don't want to wait for a month for this thing to be perfect for shrimp. So I'm going to move a ton of rock, plants and such over from tanks that are several years old to help supply the tank with all the nom noms shrimp tend to love. Maybe even moving some substrate. So there should be a suitable amount of surface area prepped for grazing within a week or two.
Still torn on whether or not I want a background. While black vinyl looks great on my smaller tanks and in tanks that are low to the ground… I'm concerned that a background on this tank will look a bit janky. The tank is situated in a division between a living area and my kitchen and will be a major focal point in an area that's about 800sq ft in size. Have toyed with a background and it seems like three feet of black is really stark. Breaks up the flow of the living space more than I want it to.
So here's hoping that if I go without a background, it'll seem more open and natural. Hoping it won't look strange once plants grow in. Thinking it won't be too big of a deal, as I won't have much gear to hide. The spray bar will be clear, intake will be clear/will have a stainless steel shrimp strainer on it, whatever pump (I think Koralia Nano - but I have a few to pick from) I decide on will be small and black.
Now just a waiting game for the delivery of plants.