Well, I've been more than remiss in my updates. Life got a little busy for a while and I was focusing on other things.
The big items that I haven't updated on are:
*At the suggestion of a lot of people(see previous posts in this thread) I shifted the entire hardscape to the left. I like it a lot better.
*I added a ton more plants, include two Aponogetons, many crypts, and some bolbitis. I also planted a bunch of dward[sic] hairgrass. It was sold to me as E. parvula, but was E. aicicularis.
*I added about 30 olive nerites
*Finally, and this is the big one, I bought 12(received 13) Angels off of Aquabid. They are 50% Wild Peruvian Scalare, 50% blue gene. I'll probably only keep 6 of them depending on how they pair up and how they develop, but I'm going to hold on to all of them for a few more months before I start to thin them out.
Those are the big things. I haven't really focused too much on a scape. It's very jungle-esque, partly to give time for the crypts to grow and spread and partly out of laziness.
I then had to prepare for a 3 week vacation to Europe, so I had to make sure automation was fully up and running. Waterchanges, autodosing, co2....got it all setup, well, kind of. 2 days before we were to leave I had some issues with my macro pump, so the tank went with micros only for the trip.
After the trip, this is what it looked like:
Sorry for the bad picture, it was a quick snap before going to town with scissors. As I mentioned before, that was 3 weeks with no macros, only micros. As it turned out, I didn't know how to use my recently acquired Pinpoint pH controller as well as I assumed, so I set it up wrong and the tank went without CO2 during the trip. Not a big issue, for three reasons: the tank is relatively low light, duckweed QUICKLY took over, and I mix my micro solution with glutaraldehyde, so the tank didn't have too many problems.
After a large LARGE trim(and duckweed removal), this is what it looked like:
I'm having a pretty large detritus issue, but I think two things are going on. One, the filters need to be cleaned. I haven't cleaned them since I turned this thing on. Two, with no macros for 3 weeks, some of the plants struggled and lost some leaves.
I removed all of the dwarf[sic] hairgrass. It just wasn't doing it for me. Too tall and just not the look I was going for. I haven't decided on a new foreground yet but I'm thinking about some form of lilaeopsis, probably brasiliensis.
So far I've only been on 2x54w of light for a breakin period, but I'm thinking about upping that to 4x54w of light, at least for a couple of hours a day. I'll probably definitely need to do this if I go with lilaeopsis to get a good carpet going.
That's about it for the update. For good measure, a couple of rough Angel shots: