I used BB's peat moss instead of organic topsoil, mostly because the peat moss was the only thing I could find that didn't have any fertilizers/chemicals/special grow whatevers added to it, but otherwise I tried to follow OFL's guide as closely as I could within my time/money constraints and shiny new legal constraints. Hopefully all goes well, though apparently the hood I bought isn't very good, and no one carries a 6700K or 6500K bulb in the right size, so I'm gonna have to order it. luckily the room it's currently is is about 90% window, so at least some sunlight is happening in the meantime
I'm never using peat moss again. did you know it floats? I didn't. now I do.
So the substrate is about an inch of peat moss, capped with an inch of my leftover eco-complete, capped with black sand, because black sand is pretty and I plan to have bottom feeders eventually. my plants are a metric ton of anacharis, six bunches of vals, four or five amazon swords, some bronze wenditii I pulled out of my betta's tank, some creeping jenny, one banana plant because they're funny looking, and one bunch of spiral somethingorother that I can't remember what it is, but makes for a nice change in texture against the vals and anacharis.
I've stocked with three african dwarf frogs, three american flag fish, four painted glass fish that I bought before I realized that they weren't a new flavor of glo fish -_- and five platys. I'm still well under the gallon-per-inch rule, but the tank looks to be pretty full now, so I think I'll stop there, unless my LFS gets some MTS in.
Now here's where I did the stupid newbie thing.
Even though I crawled through every snail-ridden, ammonia-reeking, algae-infested LFS in town, and I knew really freaking well the conditions that my fish and plants were coming from (dear sweet god of your choice, I will never leave my LFS again, it's so clean and reputable and they don't carry freaking tattooed fish and they know what they're doing and they're not nearly as rude as some of the other places I'm sorry ever left)
I didn't quarantine.
I picked over the plants really well, and drip-acclimated the fish, because they'd had a long, stressful day crisscrossing town with me, but I was so impatient to have my tank stocked, and I didn't have enough quarentine tanks for all of them, so I put them in right away.
Lo and behold two days later I start seeing signs of internal parasites. -_-
It showed up in the platys first, so I'm guessing they're the ones who brought it in. They were from my local petsmart, which is surprising because the other stores were much worse and my petsmart is usually pretty good with their fish, but when I went back for meds, I let the fish girl know, and she said she'd check out the other tanks.
Right now I'm dosing tetra parasite guard. I really wanted to dose with a medicated food, but I can't find any, so hoping the parasite guard works. I'm really seriously frustrated with myself. The flag Fish for sure are starting to show the white stringy poo, and I'm worried about the glassfish, just because I know they're more likely to be sickly. Hopefuly the ADFs won't contract it because I have no idea how to treat them.
EDIT: Duckweed is 100% illegal to posses in texas because it's invasive and noxious according to Fish and wildlife, and it seems like frogbit is one of those that's so similar no one carries it just in case? it's nice of you to offer, but I think I'm good for now!
EDIT 2X Combo: Also in the tank is Prospit, my lone mystery snail survivor of my long and storied attempt to introduce my psychotic betta to something that will eat algae for him.