Well, I finished arranging the manzanita and went ahead and mixed my MTS and clay. It was about the consistency of thick yogurt when it went in and VERY pink from so much clay. I may have screwed the whole thing up, but I forge ahead! Here's a shot of the tank with substrate, manzanita, and water. The old Rena workalike a champ! A few stubborn leaks here and there, but all is well following some hose clamps and gasket repair via petroleum jelly.
FTS as of 2/12/2012
Now I need plants!!!