I have not been active in years. It seems I keep coming back to AC, though. I will post pics of two tanks.
Tank 1: 55g, Amiracle Sump rated for 125g, Mag pump plumbed to push 5x per hour water, Current T-5 2 bulb ballast.
Substrate is sand blasting sand.
Super light bio load due to natural attrition. Some gouramis, a couple swordtails (all female), Chinese algae eaters, plenty of snails, a clown loach, a swarm of kuhli loaches, and a handful of stragglers left from old schools of neons, white clouds, blackskirts, and other common fish.
I have not added fish in two years because I have put all my efforts into my other tank. That is changing now.
The plants in the tank are Java Fern, and long and short varieties of val. The plants growing out of the back of the tank are Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena braunii) and a Pothos vines. The vines have now circled the room more than once and continue to grow, the fastest growing vines grow more than a foot per month and the largest leaves are 8" from stem to tip. The vine behind the largest leaves is as big around as my thumb.
In this one you can see the overgrown plants.
This one best shows the whole room.
All readings from this tank have been pristine for several years. I suppose I could drink it but fortunately it has never come to that. I add 3 gallons of water per week to this tank and do water changes every few months.
I don't fertilize except as mentioned below.
135g, 3 cf of lava rock media in 12' of plant trough & downspouts acting as wet/dry filter w/ 200gph on a pump with Venturi aerator & special impeller, 25g home made sump w/ another 3 cf of lava rock in the stand with an additional 300 gph as additional bio filter with 2 layers of aquarium filter media. Substrate is playground sand. Decorations are 12x6" tiles from the hardware store.
Occupants: 3 8" oscars, 1 7" Jack Dempsy, 2 8" pictus cats, a baby bichir (5"), and a crawdad I bought from a neighbor kid.
Plants: Pothos vines, Peace Lilly, and plenty of bamboo along with some small mosses and ferns I am experimenting with.
For perspective: The tank is 6' wide and the white board behind the troughs is a 4x8' sheet of plywood. The top trough is about 8' from the floor.
I can post DIY pictures of most of the project if there is any interest and may do it anyway just for the fun of it.
I have ordered a new Current LED light for this tank so I can start growing some of my insane val in this tank. The water in this tank reflects the hardness of my local water but otherwise is very clean except in the nitrates. Every week I use this water to water all the plants in my house and everything has started growing at unprecedented rates. I have 25 year old plants that grew an inch a year sprouting new growth since starting this. Every other week I do a 25% water change. I use this water to fertilize the 55g and to fill my hydroponic herb garden where I grow basil, mint, and rosemary so far.
At any rate, I hope these pictures are fun for you in some way. Thanks for giving me a venue to brag.