I wanted a 'vase' that was > 2g and was looking all over the place for a cylinder that was > 10" in diameter. The only place I could find one was from amaligarden com, which is a floral / bridal shop in NYC. The (new) vase was $36 + $10 for orders under $50 (blah) + $17 for shipping from East to West Coast (blah x 2). Pretty pricey.
The shape, the thickness, the balance are perfect but the glass quality is way below par: a lot of bubbles, smudges, inclusions, creases - I cannot find 1/4 view that does not have some imperfection getting in the way. But it does hold water.
The Black Lava came from Home Depot, ~$7 for a 40lb bag.
The lighting is 2 x 24w of CFL spiral 5,000K bulbs from Home Depot, mounted in ZooMed Mini Double Deep Dome hang off ZooMed Large Lamp Stand. The thing is on for 10 hours a day and is used over a total of 4 vases.
The pink plants are Rotala Colorata. A lonely Nemphoea stellata is hiding in the background.
The whole collection is currently sitting on a breakfast counter, right next to the main kitchen sink in the island. I am getting not-so-subtle hints that the light stand, the fixture, the bulbs, and (oy) even the guppies will get re-positioned up my behind, soon and rather forcibly. My current choice is to dump my desktop PC to make room for the collection.
The HOB is Azoo 60 3w that came with RedSea 1/2g 'beta set' that was squirreled away in the pantry for some 10 years. The $30 for the whole set sounded like a good deal, just for the cuteness factor. I stumbled on the set about an hour after I placed an order for an internal filter on Amazon ... The HOB was missing all media, so, some poly went in. They need to be cleaned every week before the filter starts to back-flow and to make un-natural grunting noises.
As far as RCS go, I do have them, I think. I fished two < 1/16" shrimplets out of another vase but did not have the heart to move them in with guppies. They went into the 'champagne bucket' for now. Logically, one would expect a parent or two in a close vicinity. Getting them from an overplanted vase A (or B) into this one would require forethought, planning, local government approval, sign-off from IRS, sweat, and time. Better let sleeping dogs sleep.
Problem: I am at max tanks.
Problem: I like setting up new tanks.
Problem: I hate throwing plants away.
Problem: Re-doing large tanks takes time.
Problem: I want to try different setups.
Problem: < 2g jars are "set and forget".
Problem: I have problems.
The above looks like a solution looking for problems.
The above will be called "OVT's Memorial Cheapo Supper Secret Underwater Compulsion Lab".
Or "The Lab" for short. At least that's the idea ... today.