Welcome to the Snail Glades journal, an UW zen garden for inverts with the superficially pretentious name. When a teenager spontaneously bursts out with such a description, however, you run with it, no questions asked.
Constructive criticism is truly appreciated. Pics are coming soon.
This is a 7.5g planted invert tank bursting with life and struggling toward some semblance of beauty. We have multiple types of beautiful nerites, a very active mystery snail for comic relief, a why-arent-they-breeding colony of Bloody Mary neocaridina shrimp, and several green babaulti caridinas, who may get around to breeding on their own time. Conditions aren't quite yet right for the third shrimp species, OEBT, caridinas that won't crossbreed with the babaulti.
Originally this was going to mostly a moss, rock, and sand tank, but I decided to try a monte carlo carpet and so upgraded the light. Now the monte carlo's gone and I have added mayaca, cyperus helferi, and - most importantly - amazon frogbit to the tank to bring the lighting under control. It's only 28-30 mMol of PAR at the substrate, considered at the higher end of low lighting, but that's still enough to cause the mayaca to pearl on occasion. That's something I'd never expected to see in a low tech, no CO2, no Excel tank.