Sorry for the delay -- the weekend started to take over!
Let me start by giving kudos to the store that shipped my plants. I didn't (but wish now that I had) take any pictures of how the plants arrived but I was very impressed. The stemmed plants and potted plants were bundled together. Each bundle had wet newspaper surrounding the plants, inside a clear plastic bag (NOT the kind that you get at a grocery store or superstore). Both bundles were then wrapped together with packing paper.
For the most part, the plants looked great! Some of the java fern leaves have holes or black spots in them. I hope they go away once the plant starts growing.
I spent quite a bit of time trying to get the Ludwigia renens
planted (and stay planted) in my substrate. The flow from my Fluval 305 appears to knock some of the plants out of the substrate. Now going on the second full day of operation, I haven't had to spend as much time re-planting plants that started floating.
I have three Anubias barteri var. 'Nan'
in the tank. One can be seen tucked between the Mopani wood and the java fern in the first picture. The other two I have attached to the wood using dental floss.
The CO2 system was delivered on Friday, the same day as the plants, but I only had time to put the plants in the tank. All of the CO2 system components were excellently packed and shipped. I got the 10lb CO2 tank filled up at a homebrew store for $30. For the drop-checker fluid, I went to Walgreens and picked up a 10oz bottle of mineral oil (intestinal lubricant).
I currently have the CO2 at about 2 bps, 30 psi and operating while the lights are on. The CO2 system came with a pH controller but I am going to wait until the plants have "taken off" and I have fish in the tank before I set that up. The diffuser is Green Leaf Aquariums' Atomic CO2 Diffuser which boasts a 100% dissolution rate. It is currently sitting behind the ludwigia and spitting out tiny bubbles.
I want to close with a full tank shot from yesterday afternoon.