Before I delve into the pictures, let me first review my tank's specifications:
2 x 30watt light fixture
15watt light fixture
reverse flow powerhead
and for viewing purposes, I have
21 cardinals (para. axelrodi)
6 silvertip tetras
3 discus (temporarily)
2 cherry barbs
To begin with, my substrate is a very simple 30 lbs. fluorite on the bottom and about 20 lbs. of pea-sized, light-colored, river rock on the top. Below all of that even, is my undergravel filter plate that I use in conjunction with a powerhead to pump any liquid ferts that I put in the tank, to the very bottom where they may be properly absorbed by the roots of the plants. Here's a general picture of my tank:
These pictures were actually taken with my cell phone, so please excuse the amaturity.
Because of the intensity of the light that I have and a relatively short tank, my light goes a long way. The crown jewels of my display are dwarf lilies. (The big tangle of "wires" to the left.) Here's the bottom of them surrounded by a few corkscrew val.:
I created a little "bay" or open area for them to grow by arranging two pieces of driftwood in the background there. They provide a spectacular aerial view:
The largest is about 3 1/2". They probably could be larger with more room and more trimming. My discus do enjoy swimming through some small amounts of dwarf hairgrass that I have used in the foreground:
Now, I have been able to accomplish this kind of amature grow without the use of expensive lighting or CO2 systems. Most of the plants that I have are in fact "difficult" high light plants, but they are incredibly simple to care for. I dose iron and excel twice a week. I've actually added a small 15watt MarineGlo light over the side where my lilies are to provide them with a little more blue spectrum lighting. Everything grows very well and my lilies actually grow amazingly fast; every few days a new one will shoot up.