Time for another update. As always, any advice is welcome.
The tank currently is the home of:
- 1 - Betta
- 3 - Gold Endler's Livebearers
- 4 - Oto cats
It had 7 Danio / Glowfish hybrids for about 3 days, but the betta chased them ceaselessly, even though he was added last. Taking them out seems to have focused the betta's aggression on the remaining fish, but fortunately, the betta seems content to just herd everyone under the HOB -- he generally ignores the otos, but they hang out in that corner anyway for some reason.
Hardness (gH): 0
Hardness (kH): 40
Since my last update, I swapped out the 6500K light for a 10000K light, just to cut through some of the tannins from the driftwood (the other bulb is a coralife colormax).
The lights are on 12hrs a day and are activated by a timer. I'd heard there should be a light-cycle of 4hrs of dim light, 5hrs of high light and another 4 hrs of dim light, but I'm not quite sure how to pull that off. The tank sits on an interior wall and I'd assumed any ambient light it gets would be negligible.
Overall, my plants seem to just be doing 'ok'. Walstad's book should be arriving on the 10th, so hopefully that will help me tweak what I'm doing to get my plants to look nice and green.
I suspect that my lights are on too much, but that research will happen tomorrow, now that I have my observations logged.
- Hygrophilia difformis (wisteria) - This seems to be doing ok, but has become less green.
On the plant in the right front side of the tank, the leaves have gone transparent at the edges in a few spots. On the left side, the wisterias have grown roots that just float off the sides of it.
- Egeria najas (narrow leaf elodea) - These also have dulled some, and generally seem to be growing slowly. Occassionally, little flowers grow out the sides.
Some stems are branching at the sides and in those cases, I trimmed them off and planted them next to the parent stem, since I read that they tend to do that if they aren't planted in clusters.
- Rotala rotundifolia - These haven't grown much and have lost some of their purple at the tops. I was hoping the 10K bulb would help, but I'm hesitant to add more light, since the rest of the plants are low-med light plants.
- Cryptocoryne wendtii - You can barely see it in the midground, behind the dwarf rosette. It's kind of a dull-green, and I can no longer remember whether it's as green as it was when I bought it or more rusty-colored.
- Cryptocoryne balansae - The biggest leaves melted, but there's still smaller leaves that are nice and green and growing.
- Echinodorus tenellus (pygmy chain sword) - Seems to be growing well, but better in the back right of the tank than in the center, next to the driftwood. I'm not sure whether I should trim the dead leaves, but I decided to just leave it.
It spawned a child plant, so I planted it next to the watersprite and mystery crypt
- Mystery Rosette - I think the plant in the front next to the balansae is a wendtii, but the two plants look so different, I'm not sure they're the same plant.
It's doing great and has kept it's color. It seems to have lifted off and is being kept from completely floating by it's roots.
I don't know if that's normal or bad planting, but I separated two of the new children plants and planted them next to the watersprite on the right.
- Echinodrous parviflorus (dwarf rosette sword) - This was doing pretty well for awhile, but you can see the big brown, translucent spot on the biggest leaf. The smaller leaves have started dying off too.
- Ceratopteris thalictroides (water sprite) - They plant profile wasn't kidding when it said water sprites were easy to care for. I'm happy I managed to keep one of the plants rooted, though.
The one on the right keeps shooting floaters into the tank, so I put hung them on the driftwood to box the salvinia in near it, stuck it under rocks and put them in other tanks.
- Cladophora aegagropila (marimo ball) - Still green. Still round. I roll it every other day or so.
- Salvinia Minima (water spangles) - Putting down good roots, but some of them have started to brown. It's hard for me to tell whether they're thriving and expanding, but they're definitely not as green and healthy as they were when I bought it.
- Microsorium pteropus (java fern - windelov) - Growing happily and rooting all over.
- Taxiphyllum barbieri (java moss) - The one I hung over the top of the driftwood seems to be doing well. The one I put on the right side of the tank on the ground collects dirt like nobody's business and seems to be only marginally less well off than the other plant.
- Other - The driftwood is starting to grow some kind of green algae. I'm a little surprised the otos aren't eating it, but they've only been in the tank a few days. Tomorrow I'll throw some zuccini and/or cucumber in to see if I can get them to eat. They refuse to eat the spinach I put in there.
On the front, just to the right of the elodea, you can see a white patch on the glass. That looks like some form of algae, but I decided not to disturb it to be sure.