This build properly starts several months ago, when I purchased a few tanks from a fellow user. Of the three, the one that excited me most was the 7.5 gallon Mr. Aqua cube. It has very interesting dimensions - 12" all around - and an attractive, rimless sillhouette.
I built a stand for the tank this summer, and ordered a cabinet door online. I dont have pictures of the process, but I have this to say: it may be more trouble than it's worth to build your own tank furniture. I am happy with the way it came out, but after all the time and effort it might just have made sense to go ahead and buy one. My advice to others is NOT to do what I did for such small tanks, which was to start with a frame and then sheath it in Plywood, but rather to start with the plywood frame and then add a frame inside of that. Frankly, for tanks of 10 gallons and under, and plywood frame might be all that you need. I'd say mine is a tad over-engineered.
On to the fun stuff! I'm running a canister with an inline heater to keep equipment out of the tank, and a finnex planted+ light. I forget exactly what the timer is set for, but I believe it's about 6 hours a day. I made a lid out of a 12" cube of acrylic after an unfortunate incident with a carpet surfer.
I was lucky to find to awesome pieces of spiderwood that create a delightfully tangled and gnarly hardscape that creates loads of great little caves.
Since I've elected not to go with CO2 on this setup, I've gone with a variety of anubias, crypts, java fern, and a small bolbitis. I do have a few stems of h. pinnitifada and h. polysperma, but neither of them are doing especially well. I am dosing modified EI, approx 3 ml of a homemade macro and micro mixture on alternating days. I might have to cut back on nutrients a bit as I'm having some algae issues. In the future I'm planning to pull out all of the stems and replace them with more of the nano java fern varieties.
Without further ado, here's a nice head on photo:
For fauna, I've got 7 peacock gudgeons, which are just a blast to watch and to feed. They are beautiful little fish with incredible personalities. I think I may be slightly overstocked for the long run, but honestly this tank has incredible biological filtration, so with weekly 50% water changes I don't think I should run into any trouble. Next time I'll try to grab some pictures of them playing, they're a real joy to watch and a very rewarding fish.
Please let me know what you think and hit me with any advice or suggestions you might have!