I'm starting to become painfully aware how bad these pictures are. I can honestly say it looks much better seeing the real thing.
Anyway, here's the update:
Finally have the working PC fixtures, which illuminate the tank unbelievably well. I have my pressurized CO2 system up and running, with a small amount of pearling going on at the end of the day (still tweaking my injection levels).
More plants have been added (ludwigia mullertii, alternathera reinekii, 2x vallisneria gigantia, cambomba caroliniana, rotalia indica, egeria densa, bacopa monnieri, and one more microsorium pteropus) to fill it in.
Hopefully to your delight, I've added a somewhat smaller version of the rock retaining wall I had originally placed in the aquarium. It works remarkably well as a plateau on which to situate one end of my drift wood, so as to form a "bridge" through the aquarium. I've tied both java ferns to the wood (good grief, it felt like surgery, getting these things tied securely).
The water sprite was pruned back a lot -- as you can see it's still going strong. The anacharis is growing very fast as well -- two of them already brushing the surface of the water. One of the jungle vals is doing extremely well (as you will see in the picture) and growing across the tank. The other three have yet to really take off, but are doing well all the same. I cannot account for the difference.
The rotalia is doing well, growing at a slower pace. I'm still waiting to see some really nice color from it. The alternathera and red ludwigia dulled initially, but once the pressurized CO2 as added, they really brightened up in the red spectrum.
I'm going to attack fertilization next, and see if I can really bring out the color and growth of the plants. I should receive my new Eheim canister tomorrow or Thursday, at which time I'll be able to construct a better inline reactor so that I can get better CO2 dissolution. Anyway here are a few shots (again, in terms of color and things, these don't do it justice).
The rockwall is back and looking great; and the melon sword is really taking off.
One of the jugle vals is doing extremely well, as you can see it reaching out along a large part of the tank.
I've also added the black background (which really helps!) and as soon as I get the new Eheim filter, I should be able to take away the CO2 reactor on the right side, and a few weeks later, the Emperor 400 filter.
preferably) always welcomed.