Looking good! Where did you come across the "gravel"? I spent an hour with a masonry chisel and a hammer in the backyard trying to split up some of the seiryu stone I'd bought and hardly had a quarter of what you've got there.
I also tried a chisel and hammer with no significant luck. Buceplant sells rubble, that's where I got mine from.
Move faster, please. I need to see this thing planted!
You will never get that filter under the stand.
hahaha, I would have to agree. Artoo is bigger than you think. I remember building his feet and second guessing the plans. They were ginormous!
Here's a picture of the Extra Fine UNS Controsoil being poured in the front. I made a conscious effort to have a lower profile for the soil line that's viewable from the front. The one thing that bothered me a lot from my old tank was how thick it was and I planted too close to the glass so you could see the roots.
You can see I'm going for a curved soil line. I've seen this done by other people and I always thought it looked great. Before pouring Extra Fine in the background I wet all the soil. I saw this tip from an ADA aquascaping video. Its supposed to help with the slope and so the the Extra Fine will stick and not just roll down. I poured the Extra Fine in the background and everything stayed put. So far so good!
I chose HC Cuba for my carpet plant this go around. I really like the smaller leaves and the challenge it may bring with growing it. I bought 12 pots and it took me about 3 pots in to figure out how to separate it into workable portions. The roots are very delicate. The soil in the foreground is made primarily of Extra Fine soil so I didn't have any issues with them staying down thank God.
A lot of anxiety during this part as you can imagine. lol A few straggler stems came up but that's pretty much it.
And then this is when I realized I did not order nearly enough stem plants. This is Pearl Weed on the left which will be the primary stem plant and then a bunch of Rotala peeking from behind it. At least this is the plan when I get more Pearl Weed.
I will also have Hydrocotyle Tripartita in the midground, hugging the edges of the rocks. I may also try some moss on the rock faces but I need to do more research on that. I've never grown any mosses.