Hello! I've started several tanks over the years, but mostly just low tech set ups. Finally this year I have enough money to actually set up a halfway decent looking tank (except I can't look at my bank account anytime in the next several months
Sunsun HW 304
Ecoxotic E-Series 24"
GLA GRO-1 (I think) on a 2.5 lb
No fish or plants yet
Wood and rocks
Random granite rocks from LFS, "Caspian Wood"/some sort of driftwood
Craigslist nightstand painted grey
Here's what the tank looks like empty (with the bag of aquasoil below as I was about to dump it in):
I really like the stand. It's solid wood, and I got it off Craigslist for 30 bucks! The solid wood definitely helps, because it doesn't have the most solid design. But I think it will be OK for only a 20 gallon. All it needed was a new coat of paint! Thankfully it was already two toned when I got it because I would have never thought to do that, I think it looks quite nice! I did change the colours though. It was originally a much darker shade of grey with the white-I think the lighter grey will be better to blend in with the tank.
Here are a couple of scape ideas I had with this tank:
I think I like the second scape the best. But I also feel like it's missing something. I feel like I need to go back to the LFS and pick out some smaller rocks to balance out the bigger ones. I would love any suggestions...I'm not the best scaper in the world for sure.
I do like the placements in the second picture though. I was planning on leaving that section between the two piles empty and stream like perhaps. Some mid level plants to the right rights, some background plants right behind the wood and some moss generously piled about, and with a carpet...I can already see it.
One thing I'm not too stoked about is the lighting. You can see in the second picture there is a shadow 2/3 way caused by the light...but I'm no sure if lifting it would be worth the extra effort. You can see in the first picture that there isn't really a shadow. I used a light I had on a 5 gallon (powerful little thing!) to see if it would mitigate it, and it totally did. I might get another for this tank...but then I'd have two lights hanging out on the tank. Also not sure if at that point I'd rather get a second/more powerful light anyways.
I will be dry starting the tank though, so now I just need to order plants, get them, and plant them! I'm pumped!