I originally began my tank search looking for a ADA/Do!Aqua/GLA tank but could not find one locally. I eventually settled for a Mr. Aqua for less than $90 shipped. Ive owned 'generic' tanks my whole life and was really impressed with its clarity and overall quality.
I had a tough time finding a stand that matched. I was afraid to use "cheap" furniture without knowing if it had dense particle board or how it was made. I eventually gave in and purchased the Essence stand for a number of reasons: It closely matched the tanks dimensions, cost ~$120 shipped, pre-assembled, and arrived within 1 business day. The quality of the stand isnt anything special but it will fit the bill. I braced it just in case. Long term I plan on building a better one. Link: http://www.amazon.com/Aqueon-06531-Essence-24-Inch-Aquarium/dp/B0055L04ZK
Now on to the build!
Back of tank painted flat-black:
Products from Ripariumsupply:
Plants arrived in bad shape because I missed the package on Friday and they had to wait out the weekend. Hydrophyte sent a few replacement plants (which have not arrived yet).
The plants in a temp tank immediately after delivery:
The tank will stand directly next to my sofa
This presented other problems regarding light/glare which has me considering other lighting options.
I found that if I use material to block some of the light towards the sofa - its bearable - but still very bright.
I went to home depot to make a "DYI" light shield using white gutter material. I dont know how that's going to turn out....
Here is the tank where it stands today:
I'm still in the 'mock' phase because i'm trying to figure out lighting before I make this space the permanent location.
Considering that the tank will be viewed at a quarter view most of the time:
I was considering design changes to optimize the view from the sofa. For example: Paint the right wall black so that it blocks the view of the air-conditioner, or move 2 pots on the left to the right wall so that they are not visible. Another idea would be to add a plant underwater on the left side to hide the planters. Do you guys have any thoughts on this?
I'm still torn on the substrate. I'm considering 2-3 submerged plants. Would substrate such as CaribSea Eco-Complete + even fert tabs do the trick for low light plants or should I try Walstead/El Natural?