More news from the front.
I was giving way too much light to the tank, so I got a timer. Because I check the fish in the morning and do the water quality then, I have the light on from 6-7 and 3-10:30, now.
Speaking of too much light, a couple of the Anubias are developing Black Brush Algae. I am dosing Excel directly onto it once a day, but since a daily Excel dose for this tank is .5ml only, I doubt it's going to go very quickly.
The Red Cherry Shrimp swims around a LOT, and doesn't spend as much time on the gravel as I anticipated. I am trying to figure out if there are more enthusiastic gravel-cleaner shrimp, though the RCS is very pretty. Years ago I got a ghost shrimp for my Angelfish tank, and the catfish I had in that tank ate the shrimp as soon as it hit the water. I'm happy to be able to enjoy watching a shrimp thrive, now.
The Clown Kilifish pretty much hang out at the water line and are boring; every so often they swim down a bit (more when the lights are off), but then return to the top immediately. One hides in the floating water sprite, the other hangs out on the opposite side of the tank. They gather together only when I change the water. They swapped territories yesterday, too, oddly. Not my favorite use of the bioload, to be honest.
The Celestial Pearl Danios are really, really fun to watch. I have a good colony of nematodes in my filter, now, and every so often a nematode comes flying out of the outflow and tries swimming away. The Danios have figured this out and hang around below the filter, snapping most of the worms up before they make it to the gravel. Kinda funny. No wonder the CPDs haven't seemed hungry. The rest of the time they explore, chase each other, and pick into the gravel. Love these guys.
The Oto has been very very active, rarely stopping in one place, and he occasionally chases one of the Celestial Pearl Danios around for some reason. He has started to nibble on a TetraVeggie tablet after it has been in the tank for a day or so, but very halfheartedly. I am a little worried about him, I hope it is pointlessly so.
I seem to have brought a pond snail in with the Java Moss. I found and removed her after watching for her all evening, but I am worried she left me a genetic legacy.
Next week I will add three Thai Micro Crabs. The LFS didn't get them this week as planned.
I definitely seem to have a lot of mulm and other signs of trouble in the tank, such as the BBA, burgeoning nematode population, cloudy-ish water, high pH... I have resolved to go four days without feeding, but not sure it's going to be a real cure for anything.
I am giving daily Excel and twice-weekly Flourish, now. I have new leaves on two of the Anubias, and the Water Sprite is sending out shoots. The Java Fern is fine, if not really looking like it is growing at all. Java Moss is less than a week in the aquarium, but it seems to have released a few loose tendrils today that floated around the bottom a bit. There is also some other tiny plant that came mixed in with the Water Sprite. I have left it floating but it doesn't seem to be thriving. It was out of the water for a couple hours after I got it home, I didn't see it in the bottom of the bag until I went to throw the bag away.