Ok, enough fauna intro for a few weeks, probably just get 3 Platys more then that's it. The count currently is 10 Emperor Tetra, 10 Sakura Shrimp, 6 hitchhiking snails. Fauna foreground is dwarf baby tears with a few pygmy chain swords hiding in there, the main mid plants are green and red cabomba, and the back I removed that nasty grass one with the black beard algae and bought an amazon sword and a back fence of Anacharis that will quickly fill out I'm sure. The Sakura Shrimp seller included a few floating plants - giant duckweed, some a very nice red around the edges - to help suck nitrate and do pH balance. And the coup de grace, a a Marimo moss ball for the shrimp to play with in the open waters. I stuck a post-filter sponge on the intake tube as a pre-filter until the more attractive small black Fluval pre-filter sponges come.
So here's the tank before the petrified wood is put in - it got delivered today so my son and I will plan placement and all that. Since my son's 9, don't expect graceful, but do expect playful! (his idea to stuff the two tufts of "firey looking" java moss into the windows of the pagoda to make it look like it's green fire haha). Here are the pics from this morning, May 1:
Here's a side shot to show the low-medium-high front to back gradation of the 'scaping:
And here's a pic of the pagoda. The Amazon sword in the back will hide the heater and cables when it's bigger, and the pygmy chain sword in the front of the pagoda's just a lawn ornament for the "courtyard" according to my kid:
Once the petrified wood is situated, I might get one more round of red stemmed plants to offset them, either tall behind or short in front.