First of all, sorry for not getting to this earlier! I thought no one cared about my tank so I stopped posting updates and checking it. My bad!
Holy crap, those fish are beautiful. I want some!
They were a pretty penny too! Just a few days ago, I saw some at a Petsmart for more than half what I paid.
They didn't have as stricking colors but they were still Koi Swords! I put them in with my platies and one day my male disapeared. Looked everywhere and couldn't find him. Have no idea what happend. Sucks too cause I was gonna breed them! He was just maturing getting the tail and wham! Gone.
Katydid, if I'm too late, I apologize. I'll answer your Q anyways. I like the sand but one thing to keep in mind it's a PITA to get it clean! I washed it out about 10 times and after all was said and done, my water was still cloudy. Took a couple of WC's after setting up to finally see some clearness. It is sort of difficult to keep clean. The parts where there are no plants, a lot of detritus can build up and be hard to get at without sucking up some sand in the process. Oh yes, and thanks for the compliment.
Appreciate it. I don't think it's an eyesoar. I like it but I know what standards are held for planted tanks, so I know where it stands along those lines.
Latest news on the tank:
I accidentally set my filter to the lowest flow. This caused a lot of detritus buildup and of course algae followed. I was planning on taking this tank down anyways. I'd like to rearrange it. I'm not sure when I'll get to this though because I'm also at the beginning stages of setting up a paludarium. *sigh* My addiction starts again.