Thank you folks - lots of helpful advice.
save yourself a few bucks and just go out and buy a cheap yoga mat and cut to size or those plastic dish drying mats, thats what I use
As far as the mat goes, head to Home Depot or Lowes and you will find something similar usually
Thanks, I'll look into these alternatives.
I just noticed your base dimensions, you can go 29 gallon and have it fit your base!
Good point, and I really like the footprint of the 29g. I'm leaning hard toward the Mr. Aqua 17.1, but I'd still love to see pics of your Seaclear when you get back; I can hold off buying for a few days. The only thing I'm worried about is the acrylic. Would it be good for a beginner? I've heard it scratches very easily.
De-rim yourself with favor and little man handling
Thanks for the idea. I've seen a few people doing that on here. I'm just not sure I'd feel comfortable with it. A tank failure in my apartment, while unlikely, would be catastrophic.
I only caution you with looking at my journal as a blueprint, because this whole thing has been a huge learning experience for me, and it's my first real attempt at a planted tank. There are several things I would do differently, and I've swapped out and changed things along the way. Heck, I nearly killed all of my plants 9 months ago and had to start over. I'm no pro, but I have fun.
Point taken. I guess "blueprint" wasn't really the right word - I'll want to put my own touches on it anyhow. Still it seems like a great launching point/guideline, and if I can create anything close to as striking as what you have I'll be very happy.
Looking forward to seeing it setup.
I imagine it will be a while before it's up-and-running. I may have to make modifications to the stand depending on the tank I buy, and then I need to research and obtain lighting, substrate, CO2, plants, fish, etc. But I might start a tank journal, and when I finally get it all setup, I'll definitely post pics.