Alrighty, let's move straight on to Day 7!
I went ahead and changed the water volume to the same degree that the past few days had been, so you can imagine the change in water volume.
However, this morning I did do one thing different: I decided I wanted some extra oxygenation at night, so I lowered the water during lights off to this level:
Allowing the aquarium to run at this level at night (or raising the lily pipe) helps to maintain oxygen levels in the aquarium and prevent surface film from developing.
The ever-popular bucket shot (i'll continue to post these until you have a thorough understanding of the importance of water change for prevention!) :
After the water change today, I added another fertilizer to the Step program:
Green Brighty Step 1. So beginning today the dosing regime is Brighty K + Green Brighty Step 1, one squirt each. I also dosed Green Bacter, 7 drops. From here on, Green Bacter will be dosed only after water changes (so every 2nd day for the 2nd week).
And here's the full tank shot after the complete water change:
Something that might be hard to notice, is this particular shot:
If you notice the bronze leaf of the E. Tennellus, this is an extremely good sign: this means that there is potent light penetration, adequate Co2 and proper nutrient supplies. The normal coloration is Green, only under a synthesis of great conditions do the leaves turn bronze. This will add a nice touch of color to the tank later.
I will note one thing:
I am not happy with the way the Riccia is growing - well no, I'm happy with the way it is growing, but this SP. of Riccia Fluitans is too broad leaved. What this means is that I will likely be swapping out for Riccia from another source for a more micro leaf structure. I'll give it a few more days to see what it does, but at current the leaves are too large for me to achieve what I want.
This process is totally okay to go through in setting up the tank.
Earlier I spoke about tools and gave a brief overview, now I'll show you a little more about the proper tool set
At minimum, you should have three tools to properly maintain your Nano. This is utterly important to long term maintenance of the aquarium:
From top to bottom you have: Curved Scissors short, Pincettes M, and Straight Scissors.
These tools perform very vital roles and it's important to have a diversity on hand to do the job you need them to do:
Curved Scissors: for getting around corners, and more importantly trimming evenly across a carpet of plants. This is very hard to do without the curve, since they provide the extra leverage you need to make an even cut at an angle, as opposed to trying to level out the scissors themselves.
Straight Scissors: These are "surgical strike" scissors, which are ideal for trimming stems, or in this application, for cutting single yellowing or dead leaves from the plant with precision. This makes that job much easier than the curved type scissors.
Fine-tipped pincettes: a must for planting. I can't imagine being able to plant without pincettes. That would be a nightmare! Having a set of ones which are fine tipped allows for you to plant smaller plants (like HC) with greater ease, additionally letting you plant deeper without taking a lot of soil or plant matter up with you.
A note on choosing quality:
Quality is extremely important, for scissors you must absolutely have scissors which have very sharp blades and are perfectly jointed to leave no space between blades, as pictured:
If the blades of your scissors are not sharp, they are worthless. You will waste time cutting and cutting and recutting the same plants and be unable to get a proper cut evenly across surfaces (the most important aspect in sculpting your aquascape).
If they joints are not properly aligned and there's any spacing what so ever between blades, then you will suffer from similar problems as if you had a dull blade.
For Pincettes, they should have proper bends that almost feel like they have a spring in them for the best ability to plant firmly doing as little damage to the plant as possible. Pincettes that end up laying flat together when you press them together with no resistance lessens your gripping power on the plant while also making it more difficult to put the plant in place.
Don't add extra hurdles to your maintenance!
For Long-term maintenance, you want to invest in the best grade of stainless steel you possibly can to prevent rusting, while keeping their performance consistent over their lifetime. Always make sure to wipe them down with a towel afterwards. This will ensure they last as long as possible. The first tool set I ever bought was about a $20 one from China, and believe me, it made my life miserable when it came to trimming. You don't need to go with ADA, but get the best quality ones you can afford - with proper maintenance they'll last you for years and years.
P.S. As the layout grows, and we begin moving into the transition between growth and stability, I'll be giving more detailed information as to application and when what tool is used where.