Here's a picture update as promised... Please excuse the poor picture quality, between my crappy Nikon Coolpix, too much whiskey & very poor lighting the pictures leave a bit to be desired. Not only are they blurry but the lighting makes the tank look yellow & gross
Tank in situ: [See what I mean about the lighting?! Haha]
The first Banana has put up several leaves since being introduced to the tank, most exciting of which is a bona fide 'lily pad'. The stem took about 3 days to go from 1" to a little over 1' long, and the pad has doubled in size in about 24 hours.
The stem starts at the rear corner & wraps around to the front:
Wow, the water looks so nasty in that last shot... I promise it's the lighting and not the water itself
Chopped up the Cardamine the other night & spread it around a bit - this stuff is growing like mad! Less than three weeks ago it was a little 3-leaf hitchhiker and has grown like someone's paying it to.
Side-shot shows the dirt layer - I didn't bother trying to camouflage it on this side. Also visible are several new roots on the Banana Plant:
This is hands down my favorite shot of the tank thus far. Right side, as close up as my camera will allow. New growth on the C. Aponogetifolia & A. Barteri is visible, as well as algae growth on the wood:
The LED light is pretty cool. It's not the strongest thing in the world but the "moonlight" blue setting is fun to play with, especially at night:
New Plants Today
-More Java Fern
Browsed the LFS during my lunch break today, they just got a new order and (miraculously) have some decent looking potted plants. I picked up a little pot of Dwarf Sagittaria & some tiny Java Ferns. The plan is to break up the Dwarf Sag into individual leaves & spread it amongst the Crypts. Not sure if I'm going to have it only on the right side, or possibly both - going to play around with it & find out. As for the Java Fern I'm not quite sure about placement either - picked up three little guys that may end up somewhere on the wood and may end up somewhere amongst the moss stones. We shall see!
Added more moss stones to the front & it's starting to look closer to what I've been envisioning. The aquascape still looks a tad awkward but it's getting there! I hadn't realized how green & bushy the original moss stones have gotten until I added the new batch - unfortunately the Java Moss from my LFS isn't the healthiest looking stuff. The original batch looks much better than when first added so I'm very hopeful for the new additions.
The Water Lettuce has been, in a word, prolific. I have to trim the root-danglers every day or two and I have approximately 8-9 free floating plants [It was 8 this morning but might very well be 9 by now! One of the bigger plants is in the process of producing three other little guys
], grown from the 4 I started with.
I've been flipflopping about the white substrate. On one hand I like the contrast against the dark wood & black background, but the plants are still sparse enough that it looks a bit too bright. Additionally, the quartz is starting to grow a fine algae film and although I like the look of the algae, it makes the tank look dirty. I do like the "beach" bit in the front, although if I were to do this again I'd probably use a darker substrate in the rear portion.
I've also been flipflopping about the stock list. One day I want to dedicate the tank to the Bumblebee Goby, another day I consider buying a female guppy and starting a guppy farm. Note to self: just don't rush into anything.
Speaking of the Goby I'm starting to really dislike having to dose the tank with Cyclops. No matter how little of it I use [Think less than 1 cubic mm per day
] it's still a scattershot method that bothers me greatly - the water doesn't seem to be polluted because of it, but I still don't like it!
So... I guess that's about it for this update. I'll plant the Sag either tonight or tomorrow and try to post an update early next week. Hope everyone has a great weekend and thanks for reading!!!