Planting day! Oh, joyous occasions. I was so happy to sit that UPS box show up with it's bright pink 'Perishable' sticker. It was like Christmas working through all of that wrapping. Aquariumplants.com did a great job with packing up my plants, even if it was a bit intimidating to open it up and see just how much I bought.
Huh. Might need another tank.
Step 12: Planting
After I was done freaking out about how many plants I got, I got to work planting. It certainly wasn't as painful as replanting my microswords that I transferred from the divided 10g. I think I threw out my back planting each one of those little plants. However, planting all of those vals had it's own unique challenges.
No rooted plant has any business being that buoyant!!!!
The trouble with creating my val forest was trying to not bump the things I'd already planted. I had to replant about a third of my work as I made blunders and uprooted things. The java ferns all found nooks and crannies, the cryptocoryne balansae got a nice spot in the back to hide the heater, and I stuck the cryptocoryne pontederifolia up front where they wouldn't get lost in the mad jungle that I've created. A couple pinches of java moss and my first attempt at planting was complete!
I'm not looking for something that looks neatly planned. I was looking for something that looked like a natural tangle that will grow in enough to make line of sight difficult. Rumor has it that this will keep the aggression with my future residents down to a minimum. The vals will be allowed to grow enough to bend over at the top instead of really getting into floating plants. Weekly haircuts are expected.
Now comes the really nerve wrecking part: Waiting to see what survives. I'm going to give the tank a week or two to see if it's all going to crash or if the plants are going to get established and start growing. If disaster is averted, I should be able to start adding some residents in a couple weeks!