Pics coming, but big changes here.
So the driftwood on the right side of this tank had been sanitized with every means I could think of, including a very harsh bleach bath, before going in the tank. Yet this last week I realized that the entire underside was covered in a white hairy fungus/mold. (Underwater I don't think it would be mold, so fungus.) Nasty. I took it out, removed the moss and threw it away. And if I was facing a rescape already I figured I might as well go whole hog as the black betta sand was driving me NUTS trying to plant in.
So, siphoned off half the water into a bowl where plants and betta went to spend the day. Crazy fish spent the day playing hide and seek in the plants, very happy with his tiny apartment. Other half of the water went into a large bowl where filter media stayed wet and happy as I did NOT want to lose the beneficial bacteria.
Sand gone, replaced with Eco-Complete planted tank substrate. New drift wood (The offending drift wood and old rock came from a big box fish store. Lesson learned. I'm successfully using rocks and wood from the LFS in my 9G, so went there for a new hardscape.) Rocks placed (I have a bunch of anubis coming to live in all those great holes), rooted plants replanted. Moss and java fern glued to driftwood. Driftwood placed and then held in place with a large rock until it stops floating.
Then things got complicated. A while ago I won a VERY cheap eBay auction that included a pair of endlers and 5 cherry shrimp. It arrived out of the blue, yesterday while I was rescaping. Had totally forgotten about it, had been so long. They were supposed to be for the 9G at work, but given that tank's small filter, the 30 or so shrimp I just added to it are all the bioload I was willing to add at once.
So instead, Mr. Betta got himself a fancy new heated bowl full of crypts and java fern (for now) and the endlers (I got a bonus female, so 3) and 5 shrimp went into this tank. It is not ideal for them though, one shrimp immediately got into the sump and could not be coaxed back out. I have blocked very entrance to sump I can with coarse filter foam, but 5G is also just not great for raising a school of endlers and hopefully lots of shrimp.
My plan is to start another tank (MTS alert!) for them, and when that tank is cycled move endlers/shrimp and return betta to his former abode. Of course that requires me to catch the little boogers without ripping the tank apart.
Here's the updated scape:
, on Flickr
So that's the drama here, will be starting a tank planning thread in the low tech forum to get advice for the endler/shrimp tank.