So I have only ever had a small 10 gallon with a gravel bottom and poor lighting.
I decided to take the plunge and go for a full on planted tank. Mineralized top soil, C02, higher light.
Making the mineralized top soil
Reject Soil after sifting
MTS soil after sifting and 3 wet/dry cycles
Added an opaque background.
Filling the tank
First Arrangement, 2 weeks after planting.
6 weeks after planting, added pygmie chain sword
Filtration: Eheim 2213, Marineland Magnum 250
Lighting: 2x 36W PC 6500K (8 hours), LED moonlights
C02: 10lbs C02 with Milwaukee Regulator, Inline Reactor, C02 comes on 1 hour before lights and turns off 1 hour before light.
Foreground: brazilian micro sword, pygmy chain sword.
Midground: crypt undulata, sagittaria subulata, sagittaria platyphylla, anubias nana
Background: limnophilia aquatica, tiger val, red flame sword plant, grasses, ludwigia repens 'rubin',
16 Neon Tetra, 5 Otocinclus, 5 Kuhli Loaches, 1 dwarf gourami, 1 Siamese Algae Eater, 18 Amano Shrimp, 2 Kribensis
My biggest accomplishment thus far is not having lost a single fish!
At this point I am pretty happy with it but I am trying to figure out the best way to scape the back left of the tank. I have the lim. Aq. on either side of the stone and then in the back corner I have the repens and one unknown plant I traded for at an auction. I chose to put the repens there because it was getting very leggy and I thought I could hide it behind the stone. Its growing much slower and I dont know how long it would take to fill in.