This is going to be a fairly detailed recap so bare with me.
So here it goes Started this tank a little more than a year ago with not even the knowledge of planted tanks. The first picture shows what it looked like exactly how I bought it. It came with a Tetra HOB filter, UGF, a broken heater (found when I came home to my room being a cool and humid 90 degrees), some t8 florecents, some plastic decorations, a crappy background, and brown gravel. Sorry for the side shot.
After that I replaced the T8 bulbs with 18k bulbs purple and blue bulbs(I know not the best choice), kept the HOB filter, switched to black gravel, black back ground and some fake plants. Again sorry for the side shot.
After a while I switched to the Marine Land HOB bio filter which was alright in my opinion. Still had the t8's but started looking into planted aquariums and thought i would attempt it even though it was a bit overwhelming but got off to an embarrassing start as you can see. Bought some plants from Petco.
Also still had the fake plants as well.
Not satisfied with my lighting situation I noobishly got talked into some Marineland single bright LED's especially because of the power consumption. I liked the look of them but found they were not that great for what I wanted to do so I had them for only about 2-3 weeks. started to add a few more plants and started dosing excel and a name brand liquid fert.
Then I decided to step it up and got an Aquatop Cf-300 canister filter, and an Aquaticlife dual t5 fresh water fixture and started doing some DIY co2 which I was dispersing with a powerhead. Also started to phase out the fake plants. First picture shows my canister filter seeding with my HOB running still, so it was kind of a cluttered mess.
Organized the equipment a bit better. Finally got some real plants off some members here and also a LFS. Started some pressurized co2, still being diffused out of a powerhead and then later switched to an inline reactor. I also started to attempt using dry ferts which has gone pretty well so far. Still using plain gravel.
Still being a bit unhappy with how the tank was turning out and a bunch of scratches along the top from trying to remove some bad calcium in the beginning I decided to do a total rescape, replace the gravel, remove some equipment, and change out the tank. Also added a glass drop checker. So this is the tank as it stands now. About to add some Malaysian drift wood as a center piece to fill up space(soaking) and some more plants. The hills are a bit bigger and more curvy in person.
Sorry for the crappy cell phone pics, I will be getting some nicer pictures with my DSLR when I get the chance. Let me know what you think or opinions or anything.