LATEST PHOTO, 5/24
Started off with a 15g, immediately upgraded to a 28g bowfront. Initially used landscaping gravel because i was too cheap to buy substrate.. far too big for an aquarium but interestingly I didn't have any problems with it. Tons of food and debris got trapped in it, but the water never tested problematic. I think the strong bio filter (oversize sponge filter plus oversize HOB) did the trick.
Got sick of all the junk in the tank and realized the plants would never grow in the big gravel. Set up the 15g again, transferred the fish into it, and rebuilt the bowfront. Used black diamond blasting media for substrate... still a cheapskate, but now one who reads the planted tank forum. Build up under the big gravel was nasty. New substrate looks much better, as does the cleaner profile.
Moved the driftwood around to expose the more interesting side and create more room in the tank. Picked up some new plants at the LFS. Planning on getting more, still planning things out. I want some tall plants along the back and right side, as well as more ground cover.
small Ghost Shrimp, 7 in the tank, several berried females
driftwood and these lillies from a local stream
kept the 15g set up as a shrimp/breeder tank. any suggestions? what to breed, substrate, etc... was thinking galaxy rasbora/CPD. pink apple snails going nuts and getting beautiful color in the small tank... i think it's because the temp is slightly lower. 70-73 rather than 75-78 in the bowfront.
More updates soon! They'll be shorter, i promise!