background - this is the first "big" tank I've ever owned (30"x18"x24"), and it'll also be my first planted tank ever. I've had a couple 10G tanks 8 years ago while I was in college, and I've had an 8G BiOrb for my Betta for the past year.
I recently quit my job and finished my last day at the old company last Thursday, before starting at a different company next Monday (2/28). I wanted to reward myself for this, and also wanted a project that I could start in the week off in between. I wanted something that I could reap long term satisfaction from, and something that would make my home more peaceful. So I decided not to get a fancy watch and go for a fish tank. I have no idea how a fish tank even got into the running, but it did and won out.
So in a quick 5 days, I've spent $700 on tank, stand, halide (which won't even be used), substrate (organic miracle gro potting mix + black gravel + the "dark" flourite), 25lbs of seiryu stone, used fluval g6 filter + parts that were missing, hydor eth300 heater, 10 pots of Lilaeopsis Mauritiana, and a pair of long tweezers. The missing g6 filter parts should get here by EOW, and the flourite as well (just got a delayed shipping notification
, was supposed to be here today, 2/23). Hoping the Lilaeopsis gets here Friday too...hoping the G6 works flawlessly...should be a big weekend! I'm nervous about it all coming together w/o any more headaches.
I plan to not bother with Co2 and so i am going with just 'low tech' plants. Aside from the Lilaeopsis, I might do some sort of moss but haven't decided yet. Would be open to suggestions.
So here's where I'm at with my hardscape; rocks came in today and I spent a couple hours playing with the composition.
okay - here we go.
Looking down from the top right side
closeup of the centerpiece
please excuse the dirty glass and the brushes inside i used to landscape with. I'm not quite pleased with the transition from the centerpiece to the ridgeline on the right side, so will play more tomorrow.