Thank you Anthony!! She's turned a bit of a corner and is entering "maturation" now. Many of the algae issues I was having are just starting to disappear on their own without me having to do much at all. A little peroxide here and there. That's about it.
Non Con-Howdy and thank you for "getting it."
I knew that I could count on you; well played, Sir!
Marko--That is Alternanthera! Got it from Devin a few months ago....I think he sent me 6-8 stems, maybe more, for about $6 or $7 bucks....it grows on the trellis raft very well for me, though you could plant it into a hanging planter if you wanted to. I would be happy to send you a few clippings, along with your buce cuttings, if you would like. If you are going to be buying from Devin, you will get more just buying it from him, though. PM me and let me know what you would like me to do!
Chad, thank you! The overgrowth was nice for clearing up the algae, but it was growing pretty tall about 18" from the front of the tank that you couldn't even really see the back at all. What's the point of having a square tank if you don't have the depth? So, I knew that it was time to do some rearranging. Surprising, aside from topping some of the plants, I didn't actually get rid of any more than a handful of stems. I just yanked, topped, and replanted the grouping a bit closer together or in better areas of the tank. It's the advantage of using Hygro's for most of my stems....they got moved closer to the back of the tank, but they'll keep growing regardless if they are in some "shade" or in bright light. I'm hoping that some will go emerged and cover up some of the space in the very, and in front of the Manzy trunks. I would be nice to have more leaves there instead of simple LFS. And some white mold.
A while back, Toksyn sent me some Hygrolon to try out on a few of my Manzy branches, which I readily agreed to! I added to two different branches: one on the "right" side that sits about 5" above the water line at it's highest point, though it does arch into the water, and another branch that pretty much stays in direct contact with the water for about a good 2/3's of it's length before rising up. This is where my Ant Plant is located.
First, I cut strips of the Hygrolon that were a bit smaller that the branch, and applied TillyTac to where I was going to put the Hygrolon on. Next, I added the Hygrolon material, and wrapped the branch with black cotton thread so it would adhere to the rough shape of the branch. I let it dry for a good 24 hrs. TillyTac is great stuff, but if you don't let it fully cure, it will turn white when exposed to constant moisture. I removed the thread using a razor blade, and added some plants along with LFS and moss species that Toksyn had sent along as well. Here are the results:
"Tall branch" on the right side of the tank:
And here is the other branch that remains in contact with the water for most of it's length:
I have Saleginella species and some java moss growing submersed to immersed where each branch meets the water, and well as LFS to wick water up onto the Hygrolon. The Hygrolon then wicks water up its entire length, allowing water to, in turn, wick into the LFS that is on top of the Hygrolon. I have to say, I'm pretty impressed so far! The Hygrolon stays moist constantly, which is great for my plants. The moss species that Toksyn generously sent along do fine on the branch with the Ant Plant, and most of the moss has died off on the other branch. I attribute this more to the incredible dry air in my house then I do the Hygolon in any way. Maybe over time, the Hygrolon will become seeded with moss....I added the material only a few weeks before Christmas, so I'll keep tabs on it. The mystery vine that I received is doing really well; it kept it's hairs, turned a nice gold and orange color, and seems to be producing a stem that is growing vertically. Anyone know what this is??
In short, I'm pretty happy with the stuff, and will be using it on my new set up and on additional areas on my Manzy branches too. Makes my life easier, and the plants seem to like it! It's a no-brainer.
One more question: anyone know what "this" is? I have about at least a dozen of these things popping up on my moist areas, but I haven't a clue as to what they are:
Any experts out there care to guess what on Earth these curious things are popping up all over the place?? I'm NOT concerned at the moment....just curious.
All right....Set #2 of pics. Will post more tomorrow...
Crypt Patch of Metallic Red. IT'S GLORIOUS!!
Here's that "Mystery Sagittaria" that I got from AaronT. Hoping that it will spread and give a nice contrast to the R. Metallic:
The whole meatball, head on:
Just the Top, head on:
Just the Bottom, head on:
Just the Bottom head on, closer in on the right side:
The Bottom head on, closer in on the middle section:
Once again, the Bottom head on, closer in on the left section:
These last three were not easily shot.....the light from the pendant reflects off of me, so I was seeing myself in all these shots at first. Now, I'm a handsome guy, and all (tee!), but I don't like photobombing my own pics, so I had to tape black trash bags to block out all of the light from the top of the tank upwards to the pendant.
From the stairs looking down:
Thanks all! Please comment or critique!!