Ok, it has been a long time since I have updated this thread and to be honest so much has changed that it doesn't even look like the same tank anymore. Aquascape wise everything is still the same but I have added a lot of species over the last couple of months.
So lets begin shall we? So, the barren wasteland above has turned into a beautiful, beautiful planted tank. If I was going to put out any advice to anyone starting a planted tank it would be go heavy with fast growing plants. This is the advice that was given to me and it has served me well:
Up front I picked up some beautiful crypt nurii, small lotus, and attempted a carpet. All of these aren't the fasted growing or propagating plants out there but more importantly I picked up some giant vals, onions, and some cork screw vals that you can see all in this photo. These took off like weeds!
After about 2 weeks all of the vals lived up to their fast propagating reputation. Runners shot up everywhere and parent plants reached for the sky. It was amazing. I was to the point that I didn't even believe that a plant could have that fast of growth rate. You can also see some rotala rotundifolia and wisteria peaking up. Ultimately I wanted a good natural backdrop.
I chose to let the rotala creep on top of the water instead of the giant vals because there is a lot more light that is let in. The wide leaves of the giant vals really cause a blackout for my developing carpet.
About a month or maybe a month and a week after the replanting. Still growing!
Picked up some good ludwigia locally here from the shop and swap.
Here is a front on but the light really kills the shot and to be honest it isn't that bright because I conducted this DIY solution
There she is currently in all of her glory. I have to say that I have bounced around from hobby-to-hobby over the years and when I come home and sit down in my recliner my eyes shoot straight over to my tank and not to the TV. I am more centered, my stress levels are down, and if yall are like me you can sit in front of your tanks for hours just watching. I'm that guy.
This is another good shot showing how well the rotala is covering the top. The pink tint looks really good across the top.
This is, thus far, my holy grail for plants. I have done so much reading over the months about the madagascar lace plant and everywhere I read stated that the care required for this plant almost outweighed the benefit of keeping it. I am happy to show that all of my bulbs sprouted and they are beautiful. This has become my new center piece and I love looking at their delicate leaves.
I hope yall have enjoyed the update. I'll try and do it monthly from now on.