I've been keeping tanks on and off since 1965 or so. Three kids and all that had me in an out several times. The last getting out of the hobby was Feb 2008. That was SW though which I had been doing for 18 years straight. At 13 I had a 6 foot, 3 tier, cinder block and 2 x's full of tanks largest being 20G. Raised some fish and traded with the LFS for supplies. Parents took me to monthly fish geek meetings and picked me up after they were over. lol
I've always been amazed by planted tanks and had a 20g back in the 60's and a 60g in the 70's. Never did much for them other than a few root tabs and a common strip light.
Anyway, good friend of mine that had a LFS for several years closed down a few months back. When he was closing he offered me the display tank he had in the store. At the time it had 2 x's 150W MH. I wasn't interested in hanging those so we went first with 110 VHO x's 4 but in a couple weeks the algae was going nuts and the water was green. lol Switched to a Nova 54w T5HO x's 4. It has two ballasts so I could limit the time all 4 bulbs were on.
It had pressurized CO2 all along but was running at about 1 BPS. I tried that for a while and not much good was growing. Got a drop checker and found really low CO2 levels. I've never done this so to ME it was a surprise. Started cranking up the CO2 the added a DIY reactor and another XP3. CO2 injection prior was via a single diffuser that I couldn't keep working.
At this point I can't believe how fast some things are growing. Some stem plants look like they need trimming after 3-4 days. lol
I'm pretty happy with it but as time goes by I can see some changes being made. One thing I wish is that the Java moss wasn't on the large driftwood. It will be a while though before I have the nerve to pull it out and work on it. I get so much enjoyment looking at the tank and even working in it.
I've gotten much more support from Barbara because this tanks has LOTS of fish. With the reefs in the past fish were always secondary and needed to earn their keep by eating something I didn't want. lol
Enough (more than) background I guess.
Here's the fullest FTS I can get. A little skewed but you get the idea.