This will be my third aquascape, and the first using an open top garden cube. I learnt a lot from my last two attempts and am really excited to have a good quality tank and equipment to scape for the first time (my last tank was makeshift / modified and didn't really work that well).
The equipment used:
45cm cube Aquafire aquarium
Kessil A160 lighting
Tunze CO2 regulator + ADA ceramic diffuser
ADA Powersand Substrate
Cal Aqua labs aqua soil
Eheim classic 350 filter (am awaiting an upgrade to a Eheim Pro 3 250 as the classic doesn't have enough flow for my taste) 2nd September 2017
The hardscape was complete and tank flooded. I wanted to cycle the tank without plants to get through the initial stage of brown gunk, diatoms etc before planting. Cycling was done completely with lights off.
30 September 2017
Added 8 Darwin algae shrimp (Aus equivalent to amano shrimp). Aquarium had thin layer of brown gunk, and wood had some white fungus growing. Shrimp made short work of the clean up 5th October 2017
Planting day! I ordered the following online: Utricularia graminifolia
(for main carpet) Blyxa japonica
Persicaria sp. 'Sao Paulo'
Native Weeping Moss
Hygrophila corymbosa 'Kompakt' 11th October 2017
Almost a week in from planting and things are going well. I think cycling the tank before planting was a massive plus as the initial algae from cycling etc doesn't seem to be an issue at all, but I will monitor this.
So far I'm happy with results and the general layout, I look forward to hearing what you guys think