So I just got $4800 for doing nothing...
To be more precise, I found out I got a $4800 university grant (you don't need to pay back 100%) two days ago simply for applying for financial aid (I have some financial need).
I study business, so I have all the finances worked out in repaying my student loans when I graduate. In short, I pretty much have $3000 to do whatever with. I'm planning on saving $2000 for repayment of student loans / expenses, $1000 for SPENDING. The remainder was used for part of current tuition fee.
Catch my drift????? I could seriously afford to upgrade my current 20G from super low budget/everything DIY/ natural system to pressurised C02, fertilizers, real plant substrate, upgraded lighting, etc. Or even better yet, upgrade to a larger tank! If you have seen my 20g, it looks like Dr. Frankenstein's edition of an aquarium.
Extremely ugly 45W DIY lighting system
: 2 scavenged kitchen cabinet hood lights / 1 used, self-retro-fitted aquarium light system / all nailed to $1 Home Depot wood canopy / maybe 1/2 of lights don't enter tank thanks to zero reflectors, massive gaps in canopy, less-than-optimal positioning of the Normal-Output 2700K, 15W Phillips For-Aquarium/Plant fluorscent tubes.
DIY Yeast-based C02 system:
2 litre soda bottle / silicon seals attached to aquarium tubing / bell-diffuser made with water bottle cut in half
Classic Iron-work Stand
that's starting to bend and lean to the right causing the tank water to be slightly off-level.
Home Depot $5 Sand-blasting Sand substrate
(I bought it thinking it was cheaper than LFS over-priced gravel).
Oh and for ferts / food / filtering---fish poop, detritus / flakes / HOB w/ sponge foam, ceramic media + sponge filter
On the other hand, I don't have to upgrade the current system. Instead, I can continue to learn more about everything, then brood all day about the dream tank. Then spend all the money partying, gaming, handing out to forum members, going out, partying. I love my ugly 20g aquarium, but it won't do my fish and plants justice leaving it in this state.
What should I do? Wait for a few months or a year, dreaming about the future upgrade? I would like to know what your dream aquariums would be like.
Here is a picture of the first tank that got me started into this crazy hobby. BTW Must have spooked the fish w/ camera flash at 4am.: