i managed to finally get some water into the display. i had to adjust the level of the stand a little bit first. i just described some of that in a thread that i have over in DIY:
i have consistently found that the golden section serves very well as a guide for how much water to add to a riparium display.the golden section of any given dimension can be found by multiplying by 0.618.
considering the front pane of aquarium glass to be like the frame of a picture, i measured the total height of glass--from the bottom of the top plastic rim to the top of the bottom plastic rim--and determined it to be 18" tall. thus, the golden section would found with the following:
for a riparium, this would the amount of space occupied by the above-water, emersed
portion. the balance (here, 6.88 inches) would be filled with water. i decided to err on the side of having a little more water and round up to 7.
here it is with 10 more gallons of water. at this point i ran out of conditioned water, but it is only short by an inch or so. i need to raise those hanging planters so that they are even with the water surface.
like i mentioned before, i have been using this tank to culture a bunch of crypts and other things. i had to yank some ot make room for the actual aquascape development. i am using tall, erect crypts for the composition background, so i removed a number of planters containing plants that are too small to be of much use.
it is still a mess, but the next picture gives an idea of what the display will look like.
these lights are provisional. i think that i have a pretty good idea for pendant lighting. i hope to start work on the sand substrate and hardscape tomorrow.