Well, I got the 55g setup that I got from a family friend moved into our house and setup! I'm really excited. It's to hold a school of scalare angels as well as my redtail black shark in the future =3 It will also be planted like my other tanks because I'm officially addicted to live plants.
The canopy and stand was custom made by my dad before he sold it to our friend when he upgraded to a 75g several years ago (which unfortunately he ended up leaving in our old house when we sold it because he had it plumbed into the basement and everything else; we had a freshwater stingray and a couple of other fish in the tank when he was running it). The canopy holds four fluorescent tubes, two of which are covered by some sort of black plastic sheath which creates a moonlight effect at night, and they can be turned on separate of each other in sets of two (the "moonlights" and the normal day lights). The two day lights are also on a timer that's attached to the canopy, which is nice, and there's a power strip inside the stand and several holes to thread wires in.
Our friend ended up giving me this entire setup (plus all the filters, filter bags, heaters, ect.) for nothing seeing he just had it sitting in his basement and he bought it from my dad anyway; he was just glad to get it out of his house xD
The background is actually built into the tank (which is an acrylic one by TruVu), and is a piece of blue, wavy-textured acrylic, which is really cool and saves me the effort of having to put a background on. The substrate I'm using (after researching and finding mostly good reviews) is Black Diamond blasting grit
. I wanted to try a darker substrate and this was cheap, said to be inert, and has been used successfully by quite a few other aquarists. I may need to add a bit more in there though; don't think it's deep enough yet. I'll have to see when I smooth it out.
The only thing is, is this tank is very hard for me to maintenance by myself xD I'm a little shorty, so I need to take the canopy off whenever I need to get to the bottom (even with a stool), and unfortunately the canopy is too awkward for me to remove by myself without potentially breaking something, so I need to recruit my mom or stepdad whenever I need to get in there (something I'm sure they're going to get sick of sooner or later, haha).
There is also some sort of smudgy residue left in there that I've been trying to work off. I cleaned the entire thing with white vinegar, but this stuff still remained. Intermittently I've just been working on rubbing it off with my fingers and paper towels, but that's been taking a while and I'm reading up on whether or not the Mr. Clean magic erasers are okay for inside a tank seeing they work lovely on the outside. Right now I have untreated tap water in there running through the filter. There are also several scratches both on the inside and outside, but none of them are too bad so I think I may just not worry about them or just get a scratch removing kit for the outside seeing that's where the deeper ones are. I don't have much experience with removing scratches from acrylic, so I don't want to mess anything up.
Lol, though the only place we could put this tank was our living room. As you can see, it's right by my 29g (and doesn't match any of the woodwork, but neither does my 29g that's okay xD)
Speaking of my 29g, the plants are growing in lovely (I just did a major pruning on the hornwort, some of the amazon sword, and anacharis a couple days ago because we were having company). All the fish love them, though I'm going to read up more on aquascaping in general. I've never done it with live plants, and I think my technique has a lot left to be desired, haha. Though I'm thinking of getting some vals in there to mess around with. It's just too bad the crypts and such don't like to be moved. I'm not sure if I like where I placed them.
I'm still debating what other plants I'm going to get as I still need a floater as I use my hornwort as more of a "planted" type. I'm thinking frogbit, but I'm not sure. I may also look into some green cabomba to replace the hornwort and just use it in my quarantine tank as a nutrient drain as the needles I'm finding everywhere are a bit tedious, but I'm not sure if I have enough light; may possibly do that in my 55g as I have more tubes available.
However, my betta Socrates is also enjoying the planted life in his 5g. I love that little guy <3 His fins are growing back beautifully from the somewhat ragged appearance they had when I first got him (though I got lucky and there was no finrot to speak of, I think they were just torn). Unfortunately I am getting a bit of a brown algae problem because his tank is still cycling; I keep scrubbing it off but it just keeps coming back.