This is a journal of my first planted tank. I hope it is of interest to someone someday. I think it may be somewhat unorthodox, particularly where filtration is concerned. The filtration, and the tank as a whole is my best effort to achieve the best functionality with the simplest means. I believe that the easiest way to achieve something is the best way. It is my philosophy. It is a goldfish tank, so I have no illusions of creating a beautifully scaped piece of art. The plants are firstly functional. They are there to minimize water changes.
First I found a used 70 gallon tank for $100 (48x16x24x10mm glass). It was old and scratched. I took it apart and glued it back together with SCS 1200. I figure it should be good for another ten years or so, now.
Next I built a stand from an old dresser and put the tank on it.
Then I made a mineralized top soil following Aaron Talbot's sticky thread. Specifically: .75 inches of MTS/ .25 inches of crushed coral/ .5 inches of sand/ .5 inches of Fluorite Black Sand
Here's the tank at the beginning of November.