For posterity sake, thought I'd chronicle this.
Started with an Ikea Stuva stand. I used wood glue to reinforce all joins as well as L brackets on the inside. I also reinforced the rear wall with some plywood which I eventually covered with pegboard. The stand fits the tank perfectly...it's the exact dimensions of my 60p.
While on vacation down in San Francisco, I visited Aquaforest and picked up some seiryu stones and played with the layouts before pulling all together
I eventually settled on an Iwagumi layout and decided on the flora I would use
I decided to go with:
Dwarf hair grass (foreground carpet)
Ammania sp bonsai (mid accent)
Lilaeopsis mauritiana (background)
And opted for a DSM. I figured the dry start would be better for the DHG to root themselves and not risk having them float out after I filled it. I did NOT use powersand but I did use egg grate to line the bottom. I also used Osmocote+ capsules which I think I put too much in.
After about 3.5 weeks, I decided growth was good and filled the tank. I checked growth by planting ONE bit of DHG right by the glass so I could see the root grown. It grew quite fast.
I kept it covered with saran wrap and poked holes in it. I would air it out every few days and spray with water every night. I DID fill it up about 25% of the way and drain it out again because...I got bored.
After 3 weeks
That's all so far. I'l be checking NH3, NO2 and NO3 levels next week though I think I'm still a few weeks away from adding fish.
I have trimmed the bonsai but that's about it.
As for the equipment
10lb CO2 tank use from Craigs
GLA GRO-1 CO2 Regulator from Greenleaf Aquariums
Cal Aqua Efflux F2 13mm
Cal Aqua Influx X2 17mm
Hydor ETH 200
DIY reactor (has an unscrewable bottom to allow me to clean/add bioballs if required)
I'll likely post an update either when
a) I get an algae bloom
b) plants die
c) everything is good and I go for a first cut on all the plants
d) when I add fish (which I'm open to suggestions!!)
Start to finish...took about 3 months on and off.