Nearly a year since my my first post here.
Found that the tank was a 180-gallon (nominal).
Thanks to all who have responded and aided me here. This old-time aquarist who learned from the excellent and still completely relevant tomes written by experts to whom mechanical aeration was *the* thing allowing miracles for amateurs quit in the late 80s.
Fair progress but the above-water semi-terrestrial area is still a ways off.
The tank has been up and fully conditioned since November, 2020. The original inhabitants (four years old blood red parrot cichlids, one firemouth cichlid, a severely overgrown pleco and a bunch of guppies are thriving and I added a pair of juvenile cory cats in late November.
Previously the cichlids and pleco were in a 55-gallon tall, somewhat cramped and severely overfed as were the guppies in a hideously overcrowded 10-gallon. Besides adding too much food about the only maintenance was replacing evaporated water and over-the-rim filter elements every 3-4 months using tap water treated by a water softener.
Staple diet of floating blood red parrot small pellets and omega flakes with fresh-hatched brine shrimp and freeze dried tubifex 2-3 times a week. Will add some mosquito larva as they're unbelievably easy to "cultivate" in my part of the world.
Scored a deal on a sweet 100-gallon rainwater harvesting system and have put it to great use gradually lowering both the alkalinity and hardness of the HIGHLY treated local tap water that finds chloramine, ph "adjustment" and industrial softening.
The cory cats are successfully and repeatedly spawning. There are now five of them with the three new ones all three distinct sizes. A few guppy fry are surviving among a group of 20 or so after I culled 50+ of all sizes (all originally from one 10-gallon) in one netting.
Am using the 55-gallon tank to rear plants in my
containers and just relocated them about three hours before taking a lot of photos. They are from one side of the 6' x 2' x 2' tank. The other side will be the high lighting area but am still nurturing the plants. https://www.aquariumadvice.com/forum...ts-376290.html
The container rearing of the plants in a separate tank is working very well and allowed me to remove the plastic plants and add the real ones with only minor disturbance to the previous aquascape.