I am looking forward to see how this tank has matured over the last 5 months.
Well not much matured but I've learned what fits into my schedule. First of all I ended up replacing the sand with soil. I found two 2" scratches in my tank and it was either sand that was caught in my algae pad or the Kent metal pro scrapper that I was using. I only use acrylic safe pads now.
In mid August the baby tears started to lift up in sheets. The roots were very shallow. I ended up nearly tearing all of it out. What was growing on the lava rock was anchored in pretty well. It had grown so fast for me that I'd thought I'd just start over, some what. It's almost completely grown back in now. I have discovered an absolutely great product that I was using on my pond called Real Clear AK ( algae killer). One half ounce treats my 180. I was a way better alternative to excel and it was a lot safer for the fish. Those times when you just can't do a water change and you end up getting some undesirable algae this stuff knocks it out. It also works great in my ponds.
I haven't fully stocked it with fish as I am still trying to figure out what it takes to keep this thing going. I had killed a bunch of Cardinals doing too large of a water change trying to battle algae. I did end up getting 40 Pygmy Cory's. I think they have breed in there as I have some tiny ones cruising around. I'm getting the hang of it so more fish are in the near future.
From purchasing the one type of moss from Aqua Forrest it has seeded my tank with about seven other species. I will post picture for identifications soon. I am really enjoying the mosses and I have considered ditching the baby tears all together and make this more of a moss tank. They grow at a speed that's easier to maintain with my busy life style.
I'm in the process of setting back up a smaller reef tank. I just couldn't give it up