So back in 1999 I bought a 125g acrylic tank and my 1st Eheim filter and Eheim Co2 rig and made my 1st planted rainbow tank. I ran 4x65w VHO lighting and even though it was technically high tech, I didn't dose anything and I knew little about the chemistry of it all. It eventually evolved into a rainbow/predator tank with Archers, Marbled sand gobies, and a geophagus surinamensis. Long story short I had to tear it down in 2002 and the tank sat empty until August of 2014.
1999(this is only pic I have left from way back then)
Last August my son wanted some turtles so I told him he could use the 125 and get a couple painted turtles. Started very low tech and I used the old 4x65w lights that had been sitting for a decade. When he didn't want the turtles anymore 5 months later, we found a nice pond for them to move to and re-purposed the 125.
Tore out everything and bought some eco-complete, hooked up the old Co2, and bought a bunch of plants to see what I could get to live.
There is so much more available these days than there was back in the 90's. So many more available plant species, cheaper equipment, and more information than I could imagine is now easy to find so I went to school and started slowly upgrading everything.
Upgraded to BML Dutch 6300, GLA Co2 system, added another filter to my Eheim Pro 2 2028 that is still humming along. Bought some ferts from GLA and started PPS dosing. Then I started fighting algae trying to find my balance.
I bought a 10x10" emersed glosso mat off the evil bay and started swapping out plants here and there. Old ones were sold or ROAK and most new ones were bought here on TPT.
4/5/2015 (was going to make a pearl weed carpet in the middle but changed my mind and let glosso take over entire foreground)
5/4/2015 (replaced red lotus w/ petrified wood I found in desert and swapped out a few more plants)
Pic of my embers
5/28/2015 (glosso is going crazy)
6/6/2015 (trimmed glosso)
More to come.