So I've gotten to know a couple of people and gotten some good information from this site and I think my tank has finally made it to a state where I can show some beginning to end progression before I tear it down and do something else with it.
Let us begin with what I had before I upgraded to my 125.
This is my 55. I got this guy from craigslist for about 25 dollars I think. Its been almost a year now so I can't remember exactly how much and looking back on the tank it is so barren. The lighting may look rough but its actually uvb lighting for the RES that occupied the tank.
Birthday time and the wife was actually listening to me... By this time we had gotten rid of the turtle because she kept eating all of our plant life and any fish that wasn't smart/fast enough to move. We didn't blame her but it wasn't what we wanted for the tank. We put her in the local river and being wild caught we were at peace with that. So to replace the 55 gallon I got a nice long 6ft 125 gallon tub.
The step-by-step set up until the finished product:
stand set up.
Bringing in the substrate, it never seemed to stop coming in from the truck:
Getting it all put in:
Filling the beast:
Mid cycle with the heat and the aeration kicked up:
First plant to enter the tank a week after I got the tank:
And the flood gates opened up for more to follow. The next week:
First light fixtures. Not nearly enough light but good buys. I am doing it all wrong but I learn in the future.
First piece of driftwood that I covered in moss and added to the tank:
Two months down the road with cured driftwood and beginner plants we are starting to look really good. This is where I really dived into fertilization, lighting, co2, and overall requirements.
Yet a month later plants are still being added but I don't have enough biomass to suck up nutrients so I'm not dosing yet. Its all a learning process:
Made the conversion from low-tech/low light to high light/pressurized co2:
Now that I have a minimal understanding of the needs, how-tos, and signs of trouble to look out for I have made a lot more progress.
The final product and I will update when I get some pictures. I did some serious rearranging after this picture to facilitate flow and nutrient uptake I'll get them in when I can.