ah man, we gotta wait til the end of april?
c'mon homer, throw us a bone...
O.k., you got your wish, only because the tank needs a trim badly, with rotala indica and ludwiga repens breaking the surface and beginning to grow immersed.
The Good: Plant growth has literally exploded. Pygme chain sword is totally choking out the tank as are the rotala indica and ludwiga repens. The otocat turned out to be the healthiest from any otocat that I have ever owned. I usually put a piece of microwaved zucchini in the tank for him(as you can see from the feeding clip) and like to remove within 24 hours to keep it from going soft and disintegrating in the water. That is difficult to do as he feeds off it 24/7 and usually consumes all of it within 24 hours. Lol, not even my Albino Bristlenose pleceo and Siamese Algae Eater combined with are 5 times the size of this guy can accomplish that same feat in my 40 gallon. There is always some zucchini left over in the 40 gallon when I remove the feeding clip. The cherry shrimp has given delivery to a bunch of babies and the tank is full of more cherry shrimp than I can count. They also seem to be enjoying feeding off the zucchini with the otocat. No cherry shrimp deaths to report and they seem to be healthy, active, and thriving so I take that to be a good sign.
The Bad: Stupid moss wall has bearly filled in if at all. And interestingly the java moss tied to rocks is not doing as well, but riccia tied to the rocks actually grew and did better than the java moss.
Below are some tank pictures.
O.k. so with the good and the bad, you had to know that there would have to be "the ugly." Well here it is.
The Ugly: There was a breakout of diatom algae approximately 4 weeks after the tank set up, which the otocat pretty much consumed. However, there were blotches of brown diatom looking algae that the otocat seemed to ignore. On closer inspection, this algae is similar to green dust algae but it is brown and caked onto the areas of the tank wall like hard water stains as per pictures below. Unlike diatom algae it does not easily wipe off. I have never seen anything like this in any tank that I have ever set up.
So what now, well the experiment will continue I will have to trim as the growth is totally out of the hand. With the algae, there are a couple of options. Leave things as they are and hope it goes away on its own, or as per picture below use this algae fighter since the tank is plastic using a credit card to scrape off the algae is not an option.
The good thing about the algae is that it is isolated on only a few sections of the tank and has not spread since it formed, which leads me to believe that it must be an artifact of a change that the tank underwent and once scraped off it will not rematerialize.