Why not start one of these? It looks slightly better than just talking to myself.
I've finally started preparing the 45G tank that's been waiting for coming up on two years. Moved the bookcases over the summer, then dealt with business travel in autumn, and the holidays. Finally this past weekend I finished the wiring for the outlet that I won't be able to get to when there's a quarter ton of water in the way. Hmm, hope the floor holds...
Going about this completely backwards, I picked up a used, unfinished 38 x 14 x 25" stand for free a couple years ago, refinished it, and started looking for something that would fit on it. I found this used 45G tank via Craigslist from a family with pretty small children - not sure if that was a factor, but I was happy to take it. Tested the tank overnight, no leaks. They had painted the back flat black and had mesh foam drawer liner glued to the bottom - which stuck to the finish of the stand, annoyingly enough.
I've put a cut down black foam yoga mat beneath the stand, to keep random water splashes off the hardwood floor. Cut another mat to match the dimensions of the stand, partly to keep dribbles from getting into the finish/wood, partly to insulate the bottom of the tank.
So far it's just got one bag of MG:OC mixed 3:1 with coarse sand, by eyeball 1" in back and 1/4-1/2 in front. It'll get another bag mixed the same, and I've got two bags of black Eco-Complete for a cap. Might try a "pool" of coarse sand somewhere in the foreground - then again, I might need that just for the hair grass... I've got two pieces of manzanita/driftwood from an LFS, and some pieces of a cherry tree from my back yard that didn't survive the drought.
Also a fair bit of stone, all of this has been boiled and soaked.
There's no real theme for this tank at this point, other than to have decent horizontal space for a change and not be an algae farm. I want vals and rotala indica in the back, dwarf hairgrass in front. I've got some c. wendtii, java fern, and the offspring of the anubais that took over my 15G vertical before I rebuilt it in my office. Some ludwigia might be nice, if the good LFS has it.
Haven't settled on the fauna yet. There's a small pleco that's been cruelly confined to the 10G since I rebuilt the 15V, who will no doubt appreciate more space. Part of me would like to see a school of cardinal tetras, and I've got a soft spot for the hasbrosus pygmy corys.
Lighting is in the works. I've got a used Fluval 206 to try, and if that doesn't work another one NIB.
Hmm, I don't see options to insert attached photos within the post. But you can with linked photos. I'll poke at it some more, and maybe think about hosting them elsewhere. Meantime front view attached here, and a couple more views in the following post.