This is the first tank I ever truly planted, I toyed with scaping from the start but mainly learned to grow plants in it. It was originally intended to end up all SA, but I've been collecting and propagating freebie scraps that come from all over the globe. Here's some progression from the first week I became aware of the potential of planted tanks.
In the beginning, various plastique species in there, had just added a 96w coralife aqualight, bubble wall still running, no CO2 or ferts. Thought I was a real plant guru because I had seven live plants here and there
Live growth ended up scraggly and covered with algae as usual, replacement was my accepted method of plant keeping for years up to this point.
This is the point of me stumbling upon internet info. Removed the bubble wall and plastic plants, changed to sand, added my first plant order, found some real driftwood and added DIY CO2. Started Flourish and Excel doses.
Gradual transition to preserve my most important occupants, the biofilter. In hindsight I would've done it all at once and stuffed the tank with plants.
Found out that Seachem stuff and CO2 really works, grows angelfish pretty well, too.
Shortly after that last pic, I met our friend BBA. I added pressurized CO2 and started guestimatively dry dosing NPK. The visual remained virtually the same or some random variation for a while as I learned to dose and propagate.
Second plant order, all from PT and APC members, for stocking other tanks. Just a mess of acclimating plants, around 22 species IIRC.
Time passed, plants grew, some were added, some were moved out, some died off, etc etc, until we finally make it to the current state of the tank. For the last few months I've been making a conscious effort to play the plants off each other as I move things around. I think once the HZ fills back into a bush on each end and I sort out the other messy details, this will be a more solid scape in time, I actually have more motivated scaping plans for it now, with a visual in mind somewhere between wild and dutch style.
Thanks for looking. Thanks to all the members who sculpted my progress with plants and posts. -J