I am always willing to listen to constructive criticism and appreciate it. "Maybe change out the gravel substrate, go with something more natural, maybe sand, or brown/tan gravel."
I was actually thinking about having my kids pick out as much of the blue gravel as they would (get some of that awesome, free child labor because what else do we have kids for
) JK. In the end I was in too much of a hurry and thought it would look ok with the new blue background. Turns out I dont like it too much either. Maybe one day before I get critters I'll get it done.
I also wanted to try and get the rocks as close to the filter as possible. These rocks I used were the biggest rocks I could find that matched and would fill my tank, so they are what I am using. I figured that any bigger and I wouldn't be able to put anything in the tank and I want to get some kind of something to put in there. Already I am only working with 2 gallons of water the way it is.
The lights in here are regular lights, stock that came with the tank. They don't do the greatest as a light, but they give off quite a bit of heat. The tank sits in front of a huge window, so during the day I have the curtain open to supplement the lighting. This looks much better in person, my stupid camera phone really does it no justice at all. With my attempt at a low-budget build I think I will keep these lights for now. Maybe when they start blowing I will replace them. I might just try to clean them and see if that helps any. Was looking at them and realized they had quite a bit of buildup on them.
I do appreciate, and agree with your suggestions. However, keeping with the low-budget, low-tech building guide I decided to go with what I had or could round up from my yard and the river. I probably will dig through the sebstrate and pick out the blue rock. Would definitely look better as black.
Thanks so much for your replies, they are really appreciated. Just because I do not take most of your advice on this build does not mean I do not appreciate them. I will, undoubtedly, build something else at a later date. Next time maybe a high-tech version that's a little bigger. Again, thank you all.