Years ago my obsession started with a betta in a flower pot, i bought it for my wife. After weeks of this thing being cramped in it's walmart vase, we both decided to buy it a fish tank.
Thus my first planted tank was form, of course it was hideous.
What ended this look to the tank was simply, petcetera plants + crappy hood + green slime causing a restart.
I went to the LFS and bought some rock, proper substrate, and recreated a tank with very little imagination, lol. The rock i drilled and smashed out a hole so the betta could go through it, had only like 3 or 4 species of plants, and a crappy hanging filter
Once again algae bloom, caused me to restart. I chucked the ugly rock, went to the LFS, and spent some real money to get a 10 gallon looking somewhat decent.
i got lazy didn't trim, didn't change water in over a month, so i had a massive trimming of plants. I filled a 5 gallon bucket to the top with the amount of clippings i threw out, replanted and rescaped a bit
A month or so later something bad, or good depending how you look at it, happened. My 10 gallon sprung a small leak about 3 inches down from the top of the tank. it was time for a new tank. i went to the shop saying i was only going to spend like $30 for a new 10 gallon and some toys, and came home with a 27G, stand, substrate, and so much other things that there was no way i could tell my wife i only spent $30. I made an ugly ass wooden hood to got on it, with sockets screwed to the inside for screw in CFLs
So my 27gallon tank was born.
i cant find the pics of when it grew in at this stage, nor can i find my picture diary on making a new hood to replace the ugly wooden one. I'll sum up the procesdure though, 6 inch steel ducting, cut in half (by hand), cut in half end caps, caulked the seams and screws, painted outside flat black and inside glossy white, mounted screw in sockets, and used 6500K CFLs. Looks pretty slick having 3 of these sittin on top of the tank and it helps to be able to move em around while doing maintenance.
Anywho, what ended up happening was vacation + mother feeding fish. I had everything in a pill planner box, told her if she missed a day skip it, dont double up. Still i came home to so much brush algae everywhere, that i just said screw it, and just kept the water topped off for months.
i came back to the the hobby when i moved across the city. moving a tank, 27g even, is a royal pain in the arse. I emptied it almost completely, and two of us could barely move it (a delivery driver and a construction worker, so we're not scrawny). I did massive spot doses of excell, killed some fish, but oh well, i just need them to feed my plants. Most of the Brush was eliminated, but it still is present. and i lost some plants
It took a while to propogate the plants enough to fill in the spaces, here was the result.
Now that my plants recovered, i could shift them around in tighter groupings and take the crappy shoots out, made room for two more grouping of plants. And so we have it, my current tank set up:
Also increased my fishy clean up crew.
2-3 otos (possibly 5, never know with these ones)
4 Flying Fox's
5 amano shrimp
and my eye candy
2 red swordtails
7 Black phatoms (mostly female cause their purdy)
3 zebra danios
its overstocked, but i got decent filteration, i degas the co2 when lights are off via air stones on both sides of the tank (1 hour after lights off, 1 hour before it stops)
I'll update the plant list later on, think i know most of them, except that one plant on the last pic in the back corner, its light green leaves, light red center vein on the leaf, and slightly tinged red stem