I've got some new developments to report on my tank.
In the battle of slicebo vs. algae, I've gained the upper hand. I increased my fertilization a bit and upped the CO2. This combined with spot-treatments of excel has beat most of it back. There are a few remnants on my driftwood--their days are numbered.
Keeping the water level about 1.5" below the rim of the tank has so far prevented any more fish suicides. This is a relief--its not fun watching your investments literally kill themselves. RIP my harlequin rasboras.
After seeing several DIY moonlight set-ups, I decided to buy some solder, a soldering gun, and some wire and try it out myself. I took 2 old current moonlight fixtures (those old diamond shaped, actinic blue ones), prised them open with a hammer, and de-soldered the 2 actinic LEDs from each fixture (4 in total). I added 2 super-bright white LEDs in between to give it a more light-blue color. I used the 6v power supply that came with the moonlights. This to me feels like more natural moonlight than the typical white or blue that people usually go for. I used this wizard to figure out what resistors to use.
I used higher ohm resistors because i wanted to keep the light very dimm. After all, its dusk/dawn for me too when these are on--I like my sleep.
This was my first experience with soldering. Holy crap, was it fun. I want to solder all kinds of stuff now. Using the diagram from the wizard, I soldered them all together and proceeded to dismantle my Catalina fixture. I marked out equal distances on the reverse of the reflector and proceeded to drill five 5mm holes (the LEDS were 5mm). I pressed the LEDs into place, secured them with electrical tape, re-assembled the light fixture and presto--built in moonlights. Once i get a new timer, they'll go on an hour before and after my normal light cycle kicks in.
Last few things. I found some black poster board at my job. I "borrowed" it to put a non-permanent black background onto my aquarium. (Pictures to come later today).
I also bought the inline CO2 diffuser from greenleafaquarium. This will replace my Rex Grigg reactor, which worked like a charm for diffusing the CO2, but really restricted the flow rate.
Phew. That's about it folks. I'll post pictures of the tank and all the new additions tonight.