Some small updates. For my birthday I got a nice dr fosters gift certificate, and with the help of this forum and multiple coupon codes/CK goodness, got a load of goodies. Part of the goodies is the new substrate that will be replacing the "blue" gravel from petsmart. Right now I've got about 70 lbs of eco-complete, but might order one more batch and put another 10 lbs in the 20L, and 80 lbs total in the 46 bowfront. (Current gravel amount is 50 lbs of generic blue crap in the 46).
[Any comments on this? 40 lbs in the 20L and 80lbs in the 46 bow?]
I've also being doing lots of research into pressurized Co2, and have begun prepping for it's install as well. Going to go with a GLA (GLA Model) regulator, with a 10 lb tank, with a rex reactor for diffusion. I'm going to be running a day/night cycle, with the co2 shutoff an hour before lights out, and turned back on an hour before startup. Turns out there is a roberts oxygen within walking distance to me, so now I just have to figure out where to get a used 10 lb tank.
In the meantime, my local LFS got some nerite snails in stock...i bought 5 of them, and a few days later, went back and bought the remaining 2. Sorry if anyone was hoping to get any! These things are incredible. They've completely eliminated any remaining algae on the sword leaves in a matter of days. They also seemed to have "flushed out" where some of the remaining pond snails have been hiding, which i quickly squashed.
Here's a photo of the recovered sword. I almost killed 3 swords while trying to learn how to fert and such...pretty much lost 90% of their main leaves, but now have recovered and are slowly coming back up.
White balance is off (iphone photo)...and the fish love to steal the spotlight. But you can clearly see some of the snail poop on one of the leaves I was about to trim off a few days ago, and now is completely cleaned off.
As for the goldfish grazing/destructors, here are my successes and failures so far.
Were devoured within a few days.
that came with another plant by accident. Gone in hours.
. Generally left alone, unless a leaf is damaged, then the moors slowly tear off pieces. On a happier note, the black moors also ate ALL of the hair algae off of these.
Inital planting was very thin strands. The moors ripped these up pretty good. But each strand that was removed, was replaced by a 4-6x thicker strand of grass, which the goldfish no longer attacked. The amount of Val's in the tank has quadrupled since the original planting, and are slowly filling the back of the tank.
: The goldfish can't beat this plant. No matter how much they eat, it grows back, basically creating an endless cycle of goldfish auto trimming/growing.
The goldfish vacuum these daily. They are very slowly swelling in size.
The moors tore and damaged the leaves of these plants so severely that they began dying off. I moved the healthiest remaining plant to nursery tank upstairs.
These leaves are too fragile for the goldfish, and one bunch of plants was eviscerated. They're regrowing in the nursery tank now. The remaining bunch seems to have thickened it's leaves and the goldfish are leaving it alone now.
I love the way this plant looks. The goldfish leave it alone generally, as it slowly grows upwards to the top of the tank. One piece grew high enough to enter the xp3 outflow stream, and snapped its stem.
The mystery unnamed plant:
I originally purchased this plant as a "water sprite"
The goldfish tore its leaves down, and left it as bare stems. I noticed some leaves growing at the base, so I trimmed the long stems off and waited...eventually getting this regrowth.
The regrowth of leaves is much different. They are significantly thicker and broader, and have a yellowish/red tint to them. I believe this is the plant in question, but am not entirely sure.
Upcoming plant types I'm attempting, are a java fern, and some dwarf rush grass. (The randomness is due to local plant sales
Last but not least. Someone on the forum was showing how to make an extremely cheap but somewhat ugly looking lighting setup for tanks that aren't show tanks. I took their advice and setup up 3 vertical cone reflectors with 23 watt CFL's. (about 22 bucks in total) The effect blows the default 2x20 watt seaclear hood away. I thought I had pearling before...ha!
That's my latest update! Thanks for reading!