In the tradition of good journals, lets start from the beginning:
First comes the tank. This is a 3/8" Cast Cell Acrylic tank custom made. The stand too is custom made and is made of mahagony. Both were made by www.socalcreations.com
The tank ran $260 and the stand (with nifty hinging and dual shelves) ran $480. Delivery was a tiny $30 right to my door.
First goes the Power Sand Special. It was quite odd when I poured it out. It looks black and dirty and looks to have a fair amount of peat in there.
Next goes the Amazonia Aquasoil. I really like the color. You can crush it in your hand if you try, but I think it will be ok with normal use long term. Strangely there were bits of twigs and wood chips etc in the mix. Not sure if that is intentional or not.
Here is the layout I decided to use after some fiddling around. The wood is manzanita for the curious.
..and with plants. This is within hours of filling up the tank so it is a bit hazy. The water is a bit brown cause I forgot to clean out the filter after tearing down the previous tank (filter was on when removing lots of stuff and hence got mucked up). Overall, I am quite happy with it. I will move a couple things a little bit though. Give a couple months and it will take on a whole new shape! For those taking count, the plants are: HC, petite nana, marbled nana, blyxa japonica, weeping moss, narrow leaf fern, bobitus, rotala sp. vietnam. This tank is intended to be a low maint tank relative to my supercharged tanks I have done in the past.
Water is a little brownish since I have yet to do a WC (tomorrow). I am noticing very good HC growth. I experienced some stunting/burned tips on the rotala. Not sure what is the cause of it, but it is recovering now. The rest of the plants ..well..they are slow growers, so it is hard to judge week to week LOL