Sarah---I would love to have a swimming pool sized freshwater tank like this. You couldn't drag out of it!
I have no light issues at all. I turned all pumps and filters "OFF" for these photos; when they are "ON," the current produced brings all of the floaters towards the center of the tank, and back by the manzy branches. So, there is no light blocking the cyrpts, sagittaria, foreground. Where the light is a bit dimmer, I have mostly anubia, mosses, buce's, taller plant species whose leaves are closer to the surface, and other plants that do fine with lower light levels. "Lower light" is a relative term; this tank has 16 bulbs at 54watts a piece, so even "shaded" areas still get a good amount of lighting. I like them alright, unlike some fellow hobbyists (cough, Samee, cough!), and though I expect them to remain in there for a while in present or lesser numbers, I hope to be able to remove most, or all, of them eventually. The roots are a bit distracting, but I need their nutrient absorbing powers!
I have two Korelia powerheads, FX5 filter, a pond pump for the CO2, a smaller pond pump for a UV sterilizer, and an in-tank UV sterilizer all moving water.
I'll PM you re: the NW. I'm happy that you like the pics, bud!
Devin: Thank you very much!! Yes, it really is looking quite a bit different than when I had first started this, and I expect it to look different still in another several months! Hopefully, it will look "better"!
I had hoped for some faster growth from some of the species (ahem, creeping ficus species....) that I have on top, but it'll come around. The bottom/aquatic portion is turning out better than I had initially hoped for, and should like nice when the carpet gets a bit thicker. The trick will be to keep it thinned a bit around the crypt patches, but that won't be hard to do.
I adjusted the shutter speed a bit, but otherwise, I didn't really do much else when taking the shots. Oh wait! Actually, I did turn on all of the bulbs for these shots. The last set of pics from a few weeks ago, I only had on 4 or 8 bulbs, so that may have impacted the colors a bit.