I moved recently, and it was apparent that I would not be able to keep my five tanks running (two display, one quarantine, one for breeding, one for shrimp). So I decided to combine my two display tanks (10 and 15 gallons into a single 40 breeder and repurpose the 15 gallon as a shrimp tank.
The mess of floating pennywort and rotala prevented me from taking very many good pictures of this tank.
I got a Marineland Penguin 350, the 40 breeder and glass top for it from PetSmart. The stand is from Petco.com. For substrate, I started off with two bags of EcoComplete from Petco. I'd heard of the smell and was prepared for it, but it actually didn't smell like anything. I was, therefore, not prepared for the awful stench of the third bag I ended up having to order from Amazon.
Initial fill. I only had the pennywort and the hardscape from the 10 gallon in here at this point.
My boyfriend and I collaborated and decided on this for the final hardscape after bringing over everything from the 15 gallon.
And here's the tank after some more planting.
At this point, I was worried that the plants might suffer if kept with the light that came with the tank for an extended period. The light that had come with the tank housed a single 24" 17W T8. My solution: Use the hoods from the 10 gallon and 5 gallon QT tank in addition until my 2 x 39W T5 Odyssea fixture arrived from Aquatraders.
It took about a week for the light to arrive.
By which time I had managed to finish planting the rest of the plants from the 10 and 15 gallon tanks. The floating stuff is the pennywort from the 15. The big white box was a homemade breeder box that I was keeping a dwarf gourami in for fear he might cause trouble with the CPDs. Initially, I was going to give him to my roommate to put in his 10 gallon, but I eventually decided to give him a shot in the 40 and he hasn't caused any problems so far.
The only thing left to add at that point was some moss carpet to fill in the front corners. After about a week of my boyfriend nagging me about it (good thing Christmas moss keeps well in a bucket), I finally sat down and tied it all down. I had also at this point given the floating pennywort to a friend.
And that's where I'm at now! I'll post a bit later today with a flora and fauna list, as well as some detail shots, but I have to get to class right now.