I figure is it probably a good time to start my journal.
I got interested in planted tanks about a year ago, and I gave it a shot on a turtle tank, which as you can imagine turned into a mess because my dumb turtle just pulls everything up for no good reason. I got frustrated and let the tank do its own thing and it looks crappy now, but at least the turtle seems to enjoy it.
So a few months ago, I got the uncontrollable urge to spend too much money and started browsing craigslist for tanks. There were a ton of 55 gal tanks and I was tempted, but I really wanted something with depth. I found an Oceanic 58 gallon tank, with a Red Sea Max 250 stand for $200. I picked it up that day. I went to a local landscaping supply yard and picked out some interesting rocks. I also carefully cut out the humongous "Reef Ready" overflow box that was in the tank. I also found an Odyssea 4-T5 light on CL for $50 and scooped it up. We'll see how well it works.
I was inspired by some of the tanks on the AGA aquascaping contest, and I wanted to create something that looked dramatic, like a landscape, but not as barren as a normal Iwagumi tank. This is what I had in mind:
In my mind, I have an over grown Machu Picchu with schools of fish swimming by.
I ordered some parts, and got to work a week or so later. The tank was pre drilled so I drilled two holes in the stand for the plumbing, and installed the filter outlet, and drain. I used true unions and ball valves to ensure that I will be able to service the tank without making a mess. I also installed an outlet behind the tank so the wires are well hidden.
I want CO2 in this tank and I just happened to have a large assortment of regulators, fittings, solenoids, and other gismos from projects I have had in the past that turned out to be too ambitious. I was able to peice together this rig for no cost.
So that's where it sits for now. I am debating whether to mineralize my soil and I'll probably buy plants this week. I cant wait to get this thing filled up!