I've had these tanks about two months now. Here's some photos detailing roughly what's happened with them during that time.
This is a few days after user 'rocksmom' gave me this tank. I was originally planning on buying one empty 6.5g with lights and filters from her, but she surprised me with this tank as a bonus, already sealed up with some spare hc strands and fluval substrate.
After only a few days/weeks, the HC nearly doubled in size
I moved all the HC to one side of the tank, and a few weeks later I was growing more HC than I knew what to do with.
Ordered some UG which took some abuse during shipping.
Stuck the UG in the dry start with the HC to nurse it back to health.
In the mean time, I found some hardscape and started toying with layouts in the empty second tank. The wood didn't end up being used but I still have it laying around somewhere because it's a beautiful piece.
Got some more Fluval Stratum to match the stuff in the Dry Start, more toying with the scape. Sucks.
I guess this will work. The smallest rock was a huge PITA to get where I wanted it. It's actually 4x bigger and only the tip is poking out. Burying that much rock in a little 6 inch wide tank while not tipping over the two bigger rocks was one of the more stressful parts of this project.
It was finally time to wet the substrate and transfer all the HC and UG over from the other tank.
Top view, all planted. Can you tell the difference between the HC and UG? Hint: Two patches of the UG are in the rear middle, and four more patches in the rear left.
Just a few days of growth. Hopefully the little array of UG plugs in the back will grow together and start spreading down the hills, eventually meshing with the HC. I have no idea how this will actually turn out, but I'm excited to see.
Between the rocks, a few days later
The tank today. The UG has brightened up immensely. The HC is exploding with growth. I'm excited to flood soon, but also really worried because it's probably going to be problematic getting the DIY co2 system to pump in enough co2 to allow for a smooth transition. (Any tips on this would be much appreciated!)