A lot has happened in my little eden since the last update. But, first, a few pictures that my husband took... what a difference a quality camera makes!
fts with some danios darting in the back, and one of the khulis (nearly impossible to catch them sitting still these days). The khuli's have put on some weight in just the month that they've been in their new home.
one of the danio males
Jeff, the lone rasbora maculata survivor (more on that below)
the other danio male; plus a good shot of one of the new algaes that recently popped up in the tank.
So, the good news is that since the last update, all the bga is gone from the tank! I finally found the right balance of water circulation, light, co2 and nutrients that it just suddenly began to shrink on its own and literally melted away within a few days. (I manually removed the larger clumps).
All was great during most of December. Then, last week the local tap water had a super fishy smell, and at the same time, at least two or three new algae appeared in the tank: a brush algae on the rocks and a stringy algae plus what I think is a staghorn algae.
All the water parameters were normal. I tried manually removing as much of the algae as possible every other day, and did kick up a bit of substrate in the process but changed ~30% of the water each time.
Then, I found four of my rasboras behind the tank, all in a small pile together. Since water parameters were still good, and the shrimp all looked fine (the amanos were still very clear, not cloudy nor molting, looking stressed, etc) I assumed that one of the rasboras must have accidentially launched out of the tank while surfing the current, and since they do so usually in a school, three others followed.
A couple days later however, and four more of my rasboras are missing. I found one dead at the bottom of the tank, the others I couldn't find. Now I'm worried. Water parameters are still good and the other fish, and shrimp seem unaffected. Meanwhile, the algae has really gotten out of control.
I bumped up the co2, a bit too much, as one of the shrimps launched out of the tank a few hours later. I readjusted, put in an airstone, and got her back in. She's doing fine now. The next day though, I'm down to one lone rasbora.
I ruled out many possibilities of what could be wrong, and ended up deciding to do a couple 20% water changes over several days with RO water. So far, everyone is doing great, including the lone rassy. I'm not sure if the tap water had something in it that the rasboras were impacted by, that didn't impact the shrimp is surprising. But, so far all is well, even the algaes are looking like they're slowing growth quite a bit.
Here are some additional photos, with my crappy camera phone but they danios didn't seem to want to come out for my husband.
one of the bee shrimp on the new broadleaf pogostemon.
two danio males schooling with two of the females
Jeff, the lone rasbora has been adopted by the danios
a bit blurry, but a rare picture of all of the danios with jeff (the fifth danio is the dark shadow just under and to the back of the bee shrimp on the broadleaf stem plant.
Thanks for the update! I love the pics. Those danios are so cute. Sorry to hear you lost some fish.
I want some kuhlis for my tank, but all I've seen are the boring black ones. I'm also worried about them on Eco Complete.
Looks great Sherry! Pics are super.
Thanks, Erin. I'm pretty bummed about the sudden death of the rassys, especially since I really have no idea why... water parameters were good through the entire episode and the shrimp all did fine and are still fine (I think of the shrimp as the canary in the coal mine of fish tanks). The only thing that was different was the fishy smell in the tap water, and the sudden algae bloom. Since using the RO water, all is well again, so I suspect there must have been something in the tap water that week that didn't show up in the usually water tests.
I'm not a big fan myself of any other loaches except the brown khulis, and I've heard they do not usually ship well. Hopefully a lfs will get some in for you. Is Eco Complete sharp edged? You might be able to cap it with some small grained gravel, almost but not quite sand. The Wet Spot in Portland uses s.g. gravel to cap their aquasoil normal size without the gravel sinking through the soil.