What I don't have shown in there is a bit of a learning experience on the return line. At first I started with 1/2" line and made a vertical return bar out of PVC that was then placed near where the overflow and glass meet along the back side. It just plain old didn't cut it. There was barely a trickle coming out. Partially I'm sure that's the cheap $20 pump from Amazon, but I know 1/2" was too small. So I sized everything up to 3/4". Still mostly flexible tube, but the PVC return bar is, too. And I also installed 2 LocLine flared ends to help spread out the flow a little bit. I think its going to work well now.
Once I had a better handle on the plumbing, it was time to think about dirt. Now, if I had it to do all over again, I would def do it differently. I didn't rinse ANYTHING.
I know, I know...I really should have. I don't know why I didn't, honestly. But I used a bag of Scott's premium top soil, and a bag of pool filter sand. So I guess you could say I was going for a Walstad Method. I really didn't want to spend the time mineralizing (though now I regret it), So I just put it in. Then the sand cap after that. It sure looks good to start....but man, I still have a cloudy tank after quite a few water changes. Shoulda rinsed that stupid sand....anyway...
So After the layers were in, it was time to fill! Super exciting! Unfortunately, this is where the tank gets its name.
I started filling slowly. Very slowly. Very VERRY slowly. Things were going well. It was a little dusty (SHOULD HAVE RINSED!!), but not bad. The sand was staying in place, and the dirt wasnt' creeping out. I thought...awesome! This is going to work!!
Then the tank started to get full. No problems. The stump was almost covered. But then....it wasn't. All of a sudden, the whole stump LIFTS up, and pulls the big stone that its screwed to out of the dirt and sand, letting out a big plume of nasty mud-water. All you could see in the tank was from the top....of a stump floating in the middle, just sitting there. A.....Stump Island.