This is going to be a bit of a 'how not to do it' when it comes to setting up a 2' 70l (60cmx30cmx45cm) I've always had live plants so I wasn't starting completely from scratch, I had a pond soil/sand substrate with some healthy spiral vallis, cryptocorynes and amazon swords. Fish wise I've got 4 penguin tetras, about 7 guppies and a gold spot dwarf plec. I don't have any photos from that stage unfortunately but I'm sure you can use your imagination. I then decided to up my lighting, going from 15w -> 45w add DIY CO2 and fertilising with something or other and planting some more interesting plants. My plants arrived first so I dutifully added them all in... Posted my pictures with glee in TFF and asked about fertilisers. The most comprehensive reply I got back was from SuperColey saying that I was asking for trouble with so much light, so little CO2 and so few plants... Add to that the fact that most of the red tinted plants were dying slowly while I waited for my lights to arrive (Bless thelivingseas, they're nice and cheap but stuff can take forever to arrive). All in all I needed to go back to the drawing board. So by now I had in hand, a single DIY nutrafin kit, some TPN+, 45w of light (30w arcadia freshwater and 15w hagen aqua-glo which I think needs replacing soon) and some not very happy plants. Thankfully my cherry shrimp and MTS had arrived from Shaz on the TFF boards so I wasn't noticing any algae and the plants were starting to pick up now that the extra light was there. Â£30 on greenline later and I'd ordered what I thought was enough plants to sink a battleship (I'd included 2 x 30" collections) and a quick scout around ebay and I'd got the bits and pieces I needed to make my nutrafin CO2 a bit more beefy (namely some CO2 tubing, silicon sealant, a y-connector and a tap to go into the top of a bottle and onto the co2 line). I'd also got some 4dKh solution and some flourish excel from AE who again delivered the day after I placed my order, they must know the royal mail special handshake! Plants arrived yesterday and I spent a soggy evening putting everything in... 1. The angle I see when I walk through my bedroom door - I've labelled the plants best I can on this page 2. The angle I see when sitting on my bed. (The white edged plant on the left is actually in a pot outside the tank before anyone asks!) (More photos including the originals on my flickr journal latest ones at the bottom) So, it's quite a miss-match of plants, my general idea was that everything's got 2 chances, it either survives or it doesn't. Those which thrive will probably become the mainstays of my planting schemes, those which don't will get black listed until I know what I'm doing Things I think I need to look at : Moving the CO2 drop checker onto the other side so it's not in the way of the corner view (I added it late last night and only thought about it as I took photos this morning!) There is a nasty gap about a third of the way in from the left, mid level; I could move the Baby tears to its left over a bit or add some more (believe it or not I didn't use everything I bought...) [*} Decide on whether I want to add the remaining crypts, creeping jenny, baby tears and glosso (currently all in my breeding net suspended in the tank) Leave more time to take photos so I remember to remove things like the thermometer and random bits of glassware stuck to the outside of the tank Today's lesson is : Always have the hardware you've ordered in your grubby little mitts before you order your plants! All constructive criticisms gratefully received.