This tank has been setup for over two years years now and has gone through some major changes during that time. So... why stop now?
I recently started a new tank
with an under-layer of MGOCPM and immediately liked the results. So of course the thought to redo the main tank with same under-layer of soil was now a must. And here we go...
This is what the tank looked like last week:
Then I decided to perform a major trimming operation because the Hygrophila was simply overtaking everything:
... and then I didn't like the way it looked anymore!
Time to go back to the drawing board and plan this baby properly.
The plan was to remove everything
from the tank, add a layer of soil, and rebuild. I figured I could get that done within 3-4 hours max. I had the afternoon off yesterday so I went ahead with the plan, and removed all plants, fish, substrate, and equipment. The plants I carefully removed all leaves that were showing signs of unhealthiness, and discarded most of the Hygrophila, keeping only the healthiest looking stems. I housed the fish in a bucked to which I attached the heater from the tank. I had to bag a couple because i was worried about bad behavior in such close quarters, namely the Gourami and the Kribensis who are constantly at each other's throats (or fins... whatever).
I left quite a bit of mulm from the fish waste at the bottom of the tank and then added the dirt. I cannot sift through the dirt for larger pieces of debris outside this time of year living in Canada and all, and there really isn't any place inside the house I can comfortably do it in so I used the tank itself as a working table. I dropped the soil in the tank and spent the next 10 minutes going through it for larger pieces of wood and removed them.
I had about half a bag of Flourite leftover from the other tank setup that I sprinkled over the dirt, and then started laying out some rocks for a bit of aquascaping. Now aquascaping is something interesting: some people are great at it and others are simply not. I'm one of the latter. After wasting time trying to figure things out, I gave up and just started adding the substrate back in.
Apologies but I don't have pictures of the aquascaping attempts or "filling" the tank. I got so immersed in what I was doing that I simply forgot to snap pics.
I filled the tank halfway with tap water, put in the plants where I wanted them, and added dechlorinator. I then added the fish back in (with the old tank water) and voila!
And the results are... I don't like it!
It definitely needs more plants. I'm planning on picking up some crypts for the foreground today if I can find some. The Hygrophila was so overgrown that it made it look that there were a lot more plants in there than there actually was. I know that the plants will grow in but I guess I got used to the jungle so much that now I look at the tank and think:
"man... this is way too clean looking!
" I may add some driftwood as well or something! There is just something about it that I just don't like and I can't seem to be able to put my finger on it.
But whatever it may be in the end, at least the plants now have a substrate they can live in, hopefully happily.