Got a picture today. I added it to the first post, but I'll put it here as well:
I've been keeping the water level down a little so the hobs break of the surface film, but it's a little lower than normal in the pic. I hadn't topped it off yet.
You can see how nice and low the hydrocotyle is growing where it's spreading forward. The taller stuff in the back is what I originally planted. I need to get in there and poke it down into the substrate the next time I do a water change. Starting to think about ordering my shrimp as well, probably next time speedie posts his sale thread. I have my two neon green rasboras in there right now and I can't decide if I should get a few more of those or go with the original plan of pygmy cories.
what kind of hydrocotyle is this? and is this a low light setup?
I'm pretty sure it's h. japan. It didn't come with the species name when I bought it at a lfs, but it looks very much like the h. japan I was sent by pweifan for my wabi kusa. I don't know the par value of the light because I don't have any way to test it. I'm treating it as a lower light setup (no co2 and minimal ferts), but we'll see in the longterm if I end up getting algae. All I've had so far is some GDA on the glass which is pretty normal in new setups.
My assumption about the light was right. It really is bright. I've started getting bba along with the continued gda despite dosing excel every other day. I even had some pearling riccia (I don't intentionally have riccia in the tank, but there are a couple little pieces caught in the moss. I didn't notice them until they started pearling). I remembered seeing a thread by hoppy about using window screen to reduce light intensity so I thought I'd try it out. I already had some fiberglass screen so I cut a long skinny strip and used a little bead of hot glue on either end to attach it to the light. It's hard to see in the picture, but here it is:
It definitely made a difference, just hopefully not too much. My hydrocotyle will probably need a little more manipulation now to keep it growing low. My shrimp are coming in next week so hopefully between now and then I can get the bba taken care of with excel overdosing and then do a big WC a day or two before they get here.
Did some maintenance on the tank this weekend in preparation for my shrimp getting here. The excel wasn't getting rid of the bba, so I pulled out the java fern since it was the only thing affected and replaced it with some crypt lutea. Scraped down the glass again. I was hoping the screen on the light would cut down on the GDA, but I can already see it coming back.
The biggest change was the water. I bought a nifty little TDS pen and discovered that our water is garbage. Over 400ppm out of the tap! I was originally going to do a 50/50 mix but since our water has a ton of silicates, which leads to never ending diatoms, I decided to go with 100% RO. I used gh booster to get the water up to 160ppm with a gh of 6 and a kh of 0.
The hydrocotyle is growing nicely despite the 3 day blackout and reduced light.
I think all that's left to do is stick some prefilters on the aquaclears and I'll be ready for my brand spanking new CRS. Can't wait for Tuesday!
My shrimp are here! I ordered 10 ss grade crs and they are beeeautiful. After an hour or so of drip acclimation I added them to the tank and they were immediately flying around and munching on bio film. They're all still accounted for today, no deaths!
I also ordered pumpkins and red supremes for other tanks and they're doing great as well. Two of the pumpkins are berried already this morning! I think switching all my nanos from tap to remineralized RO was definitely a good decision. Everybody seems happy so far.
It's been an eventful couple days for this tank. I was watching my shrimp tonight and noticed fry swimming around! I had my microdevario kubotai in this tank up until this weekend when I did the 100% water change to switch to RO. Lucky for the babies or they would be food right now. The things are absolutely minute. For size reference the snail in the lower right is about the size of a pea.
I didn't have any fry food so I just crushed up some NLS small fish formula pellets to a fine powder. I couldn't tell if they were actually eating but they were swimming around in the cloud of food. Hard to count, but if I had to guess I'd say there are about 20 or so. I really hope they make it.