Here is my 30 gallon "potted" tank. It was started as an experiment for my potted plant idea I may someday try on my 90 gallon jungle tank (link in sig). I'm also using it to learn a bit about photography, so bear with me in that regard.
30 Gallon Wal-Mart Special Edition
30 Gallon Wal-Mart Special 18 watt T8 (x2)
30/60 Gallon Wal-Mart Special with custom media (quilt floss and sponges)
Two 50 watt Wal-Mart Specials located in the HOB, eat your heart out ADA
Whatever the man upstairs decides to grant me
Special blend of Shrimp, Snail, Guppy, and Betta Poo...that's how I roll
n/a (pot per pot basis)
Little chunk of something I found that broke off of a full grown piece of driftwood
Lot's of Crypts, Hygro, something I can't figure out...few stems of Bacopa...etc.
Unknown amount of Guppys (one of those hussies just had another batch 25-75 total, lol), 1 Betta, 7 Ghost Shrimp (for now, apparently the Guppys aren't the only ones getting busy), 12003 snails.
Middle. I went nuts at Hobby Lobby, picked up way too many large pots along with my small ones. So, I whacked them randomly with a hammer to create the little "village". Keeps with the theme. I wanted to create some structures in the tank for my critters.
Right Side. This is pretty cool if you ask me. I bundled up my stem plants (bacopa) and used the hole in the bottom of one of the large pots to secure them. Even my upside down pots have plants. That is a little row of Crypt Wendi Green, all potted. I uncovered some of the substrate so you could see. The idea is that in a bigger tank I could completely bury the pots for a natural look. The beat up Hygro in back is potted, then covered with a bigger broken pot upside down.
Left Side. Kind of a funny angle, I apologize. I used some of the shards of broken pot from my hammer time (can't touch this) to create little shrimp huts...in case my Betta get's any grumpier than he already is. Looks like some melting large hairgrass too.
Closeup of my new Crypts. They aren't melting too bad, I'm happy. I love crypts...FYI.
Fat Ghost Shrimp. Nom Nom Nom (That's the noise they make when they eat, Google it)
Captain Pissy Pants. The grumpy Betta. He is too fat and slow to catch any of the Guppys, but he sure does give them a good run when he is in one of his moods. I like to think of him as a personal trainer. Oh, if anyone actually reads all this, can you identify the plant above them?
The Pot idea:
I love dirt tanks. Mainly because plants seem to like dirt a lot. Dirt tanks have their good and bad points. Great plant growth, less need for fertilization being the two biggies. They also have their drawbacks. Moving plants and giving them the occasional proper vacuum being the two big negatives. With this potted tank I have the best of both worlds. I can rearrange to my hearts content, vacuum the tank thoroughly, still use dirt for my plants, and fertilize individual plants more directly. In addition to that I can completely remove the plants and transfer them (to another tank if I choose) with minimal impact on them. We shall see.
I'm not sure what I'm doing with all the guppies honestly, but some of the juvenals look great. My LFS has called dibs on them. The scrimp [sic] are just there for their janitorial services and "nom nom nom" sounds while they eat. The Betta is in there cause he has no where else to live, and he keeps the guppys on their toes. Most of the plants are cuttings from my 90, except for the new crypts.