*WARNING! If you are the type who are sensitive to crappy pics I advise you to exit this thread now. Although I know what a camera is and how to hold one that is the extent of my photographic expertise. You have been warned!*
After being asked by a family member to set up an aquarium for her I got bitten by the bug. So I decided to give it a go. I had a 5 gallon purple minibow that I had laying around and an old heater and some other junk from when it was a QT tank. I first decided to do away with the purple with some krylon black spaypaint for the outer hood, trim, and back of the tank. I painted the inside white for better light reflection.
I also gutted the inside of the hood to expose the hidden socket so that I could add two bulbs. Once I was done with that it was time to hardscape. I went to the orange box store and picked up some high desert playsand(sugarfine) and some schultz aquasoil. After that I went rock hunting. For those who collect their own, do you realize how nutty you must look scouring the ground for the "right" rocks? Smiling to yourself when you've found one and giddily tossing it in your hunting bag. I didn't until I was spotted doing just that....
..but I digress. After taking all that and mixing them up this is what I got.
Cell pic #2
After filling it with water I should've been happy. I wasn't.
It was a disaster! The sand clouded up the tank if you looked at it too hard it would get sucked into the filter and start to sound like a cement mixer. The SAS was a lot lighter than it seemed and blinking would make it jump across the slate border to the sand. Couldn't pay them to stay apart. In the end it was a big mushy mess!
OK time for a redo! I picked up some eco-complete, grabbed my bag'o'treasure and went to work again. After all that and a couple of visits to the S&S here I ended up with this:
Camera pic, I know it's hard to tell the difference but I warned you!
So hopefully this design will work out.
Tank: 5 gal minibow
Lighting: 2 14w daylight screw-in pc bulbs
Filter: aquaclear mini
Plants: anubias nana & nana petite, amazon sword, mini philippine java fern, blyxa, dwarf hairgrass, lutea, mixed moss, and something else(haven't got a clue, told ya I'm new to this)
Inhabitants: none, but I set it up for some cherry shrimp, 2 ottos, and a betta.
For all those who read my ranting, I thank you. For those who looked at the pics I'm sorry
But any advise or comments you may have for a rookie are welcome.