Last week I received a very generous variety package of plants from OVT, who is my hero for putting up with (and answering) all my incessant questions about the plants and how to identify them and how to plant them. Huge thank you and shout out, OVT!
I also acquired some stems of Bacopa Caroliniana through a RAOK, which promptly went into the tank yesterday.
Which brings the tank to it's current state:
There's a little red tiger lotus hiding between the driftwood pieces that I'm hoping will recover from transplant stress and start poking its leafy head out. Right now, though, my favorites are the dwarf sag and the L. Aquatica. I'm hoping both flourish and fill in with their grassy and feathery goodness.
The pump in the middle is being seeded with the cycling of my tank and will be going into a quarantine tank as soon as my cycle finishes (and I can set one up). So that's just a temporary visual distraction.
I'm currently pleased with thelayout on the right side, but the rocks and plants need work on the left. I'm thinking I may let the plants recover and fill in a bit before 'scaping it, unless someone has some ideas right now? Oh, just to note, a few of the rocks on the left are currently weighting down the driftwood until it becomes fully waterlogged.
(his shell is minty green! love it!)
A trip to the LFS resulted in some free malaysian trumpet snails, so my tank HAS FAUNA, YAY. The long-nosed little guys are much more endearing in person than online photos led me to believe, and now I find myself singing Barry White to them in hopes that they breed. They are much too occupied with escaping my horrible water conditions at the moment. Sorry, little guys, I want my nitrites to come down and the cycle to be finished as much as you do.
I gave the tank a huuuuuuge water change that brought my nitrites down from 5.0++ to .50 ppm. But I bet they'll be just as high again tomorrow. The BB can handle 4ppm of ammonia in 24 hours, so I'm just waiting on the nitrite-munching bacteria to catch up.