End-of-weekend update. The tank had not had a water change in at least two weeks (may have been three...), but with the current bioload it's not exactly an issue. Essentially, the only purpose of water changes in this tank is to remove any excess nutrients, as opposed to remove nitrogenous compounds (which would be the purpose in most tanks). Okay, fewer words, more pictures:
Tank before maintenance (*shivers*).
Before maintenance, closer up.
Water change action shot!
The sky is falling!
Water change, minor algae scrubbing, and glass scraping completed (still pre-trim).
All trimmed up.
And a few more for your viewing pleasure:
I'm really loving the scape these days, and more importantly, the flexibility that this tank allows. I've long been an advocate for building an aquascape which fits your own needs and schedule (while still looking top-notch!), and this tank is plenty forgiving, even withstanding the unintentional and much-regretted neglect which accompanies junior year. Many people seem to think that having a low-maintenance, high-tech tank is impossible; let my tank be proof that it is. The key? Nitrate-loving, fast-growing plants (in combination with whatever other plants you please, i.e. HC) and a reasonable bioload, with high (but not too high!) light, pressurized CO2 (which doesn't have to be a $300 regulator, I use a thirty-something dollar paintball rig), and of course, a little dedication and passion.
How have you based your planted tanks around your life and schedule? Even if you haven't realized it, you probably have made amendments and changes to fit your lifestyle. Food for thought.