Figured I would post my progress so far, It is close to being ready for fish, maybe one more month, I still need a heater, plants (I am not keeping the fake ones in there) cycle needs to be done, and i need a new test kit and thermometer. I am also going to frame out my plexi top with wood to make it more stable and to make it easier to open and close.
Here is what I started with, bare tank, not lid or lights and poor seams (although it did hold water)
spray painted the back high gloss black, added play sand a plexi top and CFL bulfs in an incandescent fixture..
2 internal filters, one with no media to fix dead spot problems, the other has sponge (2 kinds) and ceramic media. water is finally clear after a number of water changes (i forgot how much i hate cleaning playsand!) Driftwood is soaking and the fake plants are just temporary so it does not look so bland. the slate and rock will probably stay in though.