I first got restarted in the hobby about 5 years ago setting up a 12x12x12 cube tank with CRS in it. I really didn't do much with it lately due to working out of state and then moving last August to my new house. I had the tank setup at my parents then into my office in my new house, but still really didn't pay it much attention outside of adding RO/DI water to it to keep it topped off. Last month I had a major accident with it where 95% of the water was accidentally pumped out of it. Thankfully I didn't lose any of the shrimp and I took most of the moss that was overgrowing out of it after that event. After that the tank seemed to really take off again with tons of baby shrimp being born...but more on that later.
After the accident, my interest in the hobby peaked again and after seeing a couple bettas online, I decided I wanted to setup a planted Betta tank with some red cherry shrimp and maybe an amamnio or two, In addition to a Betta. I decided to go with the Marineland 5 Gallon Portrait tank, which I thought would be "cheap"...nope! I winded up pulling out the false wall down that makes up the filtration system that comes with it and replacing the LED light with something more powerful so I have more flexibility with plants. The other part was if I did this after I set it up, i'd have to pull it apart again and redo the substrate etc
I went with a Grech CBG-500 HOB Filter that has a built in UV light to replace the filtration system and a 50W Eheim Jager heater. I replaced the built in light with a Finnex FugeRay Planted+ clip on. The only issue is that I had to modify the light base so I could fit the glass cover on the tank still.
Here is an overall shot. I didn't pull the sealant off where bottom and sides of the tank met just not to have problems with it leaking, but it appears to be sealed differently where glass pieces meet together. it will be covered up with a mix of Eco-complete and then some ADA Amazona on top.
Filter and light clip with modification to fit the top on with
Another shot of the top
Here it is with my planted cube with CRS...the grand plan later this summer it to replace the pressboard stand I currently have with a custom made one and add a 21 rimless tank and move the CRS into it and use the 12x12 cube for something else...Puffers or a different breed of shrimp. Some of the plants are brand new and will be used in the Betta tank.
Close up of the CRS in the cube tank