Talk about losing steam. I still haven't finished this. I only took so long because I didn't want to have a fake headline...so slow build it is.
I have everything I need I think. Except substrate. I stated before I wasn't going to do an active substrate but I think I am actually. I've changed gears just slightly. I'd like to find some cool river style rocks...or we have these blue stones locally. The kinda they crush into gravel. I believe it's a sandstone. I assume aquarium safe but not sure about affecting water parameters. I'll have to get a few and throw in a bucket and do some water testing over the course of a week or two. But instead of focusing on the scape...I think I'm going for a more Dutch style. I'll use the rocks more to maybe give some levels to the substrate or to divide into some sections, but not doing any type of fancy rock scape. Not even sure at this point if I'll add wood though I do still have that overpriced twig just sitting there waiting to be used.
Anyways...I do have the wood for the stand. It's in a pile, but I have it. Plan to start that this week. I need to nail down the substrate I want to use. Suggestions? I know ADA is the gold standard. Thought about Tropica as well. Someone on Fb suggested Landen which I had never heard of. Seems to get not great but not terrible reviews on Amazon. Price is a little less than the other stuff. But I don't know that I want to skimp too much on substrate if I'm going the plant substrate route. I'll probably do a base layer of Eco-Complete just because I have it and it'll save me a little money not having to buy as much new stuff. I need to find a good tread/article/video that directly compares some of the current more popular brands.
That's kinda where I'm at for now. I'll be out of town for 8 days in a couple weeks. So I don't think I'll get to the point of having water in the tank until after then. I don't want to risk something going wrong and come home to a big mess. So plan is to have water in the tank by April. Get the substrate settled, order a bunch of plants, probably a huge trim package off someone. Get that planted and starting to grow then add fish. Undecided on fish as well. I'd like a school of something fairly simple. White Cloud minnows are nice. Maybe some easy Rasbaros or Tetras. Small school of Cory Cats. May or may not do some sort of centerpiece fish but the primary focus will be the plants.