A few updates...
Moved the the stand to the garage for a few days to allow it to "outgas" The fumes from the oil-based stain and Helmsman were still a bit much.
I don't like the way the black power cords are so noticeable on the TrueLumen Pro - especially since the fixture itself mostly disappears. I'm painting the the docking brackets white and ordered some vinyl stain to make all the exposed parts of the cords (above the black stand) white and hopefully less noticeable.
Decided on frosted glass (cling film) for the back of the tank
I've been thinking through the aquascaping (I guess it's "hardscape" in planted speak
) I might vary a bit from my interpretation of a traditional Iwagumi design. I really love many of the the Manzanita/Moss trees that I've seen created and would like to try one. I found an interesting piece of Manzanita shaped in a manner I think I can emulate a cliff-side, wind-swept Cypress...
I still have to research the best mosses/plants to use in the creation of the tree.
I also stumbled across some petrified wood tailings that I think might have a couple interesting uses. I'm hoping my DFS-100 (diamond blade band saw used in Fragging corals) will make quick work of these allowing me to create custom sizes/shapes....
At some point I have to start thinking about a planting plan. Likely HC for most of the foreground. I want to maintain some negative space, so, from what I have learned thus far, the challenge will be balancing enough plant mass to avoid algae against - the minimalist design I have in my minds-eye. I'm also trying to come up with a balance between my water options (horrible, tannin-laced well water and 0 TDS RO/DI) with a livestock plan and how I might be able to include a couple shrimp species.
I've decided to hold of integrating my Apex until I get some experience with the tank wet and see just what is needed or desired. I do have a couple extra Cole-Parmer peristaltic pumps that could easily be used to automate the top-off.
One other observation for anyone considering the the Mr Aqua stand - It has a very
small interior with only ~7" usable depth. It will take some finagling just to get the 2215 and it's water lines in there.
Should be fun