***Latest Update 11/13/2012***
---(photo taken in late October)
I've broken down my 3.5 and set up this mini-m that I got for xmas. took me all day and was a lot of work. I didn't realize how many plants i had and with such thick roots! took out my fish and shrimp and placed them in a bucket with a heater and airstone. removed plants and substrate. I kept some of it for later. i was planning on re-using the tank but it broke while i was clean it out outside. its a cheapo acrylic tank from petco so that wasn't surprising. anyway, here are some pics of the set up stages in my tank. For substrate I layered, eco - complete on the very bottom, some of the old dirt and gravel mix from the old tank, then MGOCPM(dirt), filled it black beauty blasting sand then a light coating of fine black gravel or sand from substratesource.com. I really like this gravel as it has a nice dark color and is soft. easy to plant in. the black beauty has some brown mixed in. anyway, layed out my hardscape with Manzanita wood and black lava rock. then planted and filled. i am currently running a red sea nano filter but planning on swapping it out with a zoomed 501 with acyrilc lily pipes that are currently running on my 10g. i will get a powerhead for that tank soon. right now i have the tank filled and planted, i am going to test water today and if everything is cool i will add the fish and shrimp back to the tank. here are some pics of the process. thanks for looking and let me know what you think. any advice would be appreciated. Although, this is far from the final result i am happy with it how it looks. def planning on adding more crypts possibly. This tank will be lo-tech for now.
here is the list so far. ---updated 7/15
2 male black bar endlers
13 sakura grade red cherry shrimp
2 Amano shrimp
Ludwigia sp. 'red'
Taxiphyllum barbieri (Java Moss)
mini xmas moss
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'red'
Cryptocoryne wendtii 'mi oya'
javern fern "needle leaf"
Black Lava Rock
Tom's 13w perch light fixture with 6500k cfl bulb( may upgrade later)
archaea mini heater
this is before i added the black sand on top. just bb, looks good.
notice more subdued black sand coating
full shot - next day
I also shot some video documenting the progress, check it out here, http://www.youtube.com/user/frrok1/feed