Ok, after seeing all these people with sand bottoms and how GREAT those tanks looked I took the plung myself.
I went to Lowes and grabbed 2 50lb bags of the Quikcrete Play sand. I then spent about 2 hours cleaning, then cleaning and once I thought it was clean, cleaned it some more. As there very little clouding I'm pretty sure I did a good job.
My tank has always been a center-piece that can be seen on 3 sides, and is continuing to be so. I have a couple shots of each side.
So, here are the photos!
Emptied about 1/2 the water into a bin for the fish. Put all the plants in there and took out my driftwood:
Here is the temp tank. I kept my filter going just in case. I eventually covered it with a blanket to keep little noses out!
Here it is at the start with my driftwood and sand:
Here it is 1/2 way full with the plants added back. I have a front and back view. Well, there is no front or back... I can only show one side so here it is:
I had the other view but could only have 8 pictures so I will do a front and back with the finished ones below...
And FINALLY full with the fish! I put all the water back in that was keeping the fish so it was like a 50% water change. Hopefully that (plus not changing the filter) will keep any cycling down to a minimum. I'll check the numbers in the morning. Yea, I know the tank needs to be wiped down but I'm wiped out!
And the other side. I had my thermo on the end next to the wall but I don't think it was doing a good job so I did move it to the middle even if it does block the view a bit...
Thanks for looking!