Day 2: CO2 and New Plant
I wasn’t sure what to expect to see from the tank when I got home from work today, and I was somewhat pleased with what I saw. The slight cloudiness was still apparent but that really isn’t something I was expecting to go away overnight so no worries there. I was somewhat surprised however to find surface scum in the tank so soon: I didn’t get surface scum in the main tank for months after I set it up but I really didn’t know what I was doing back then either. The surface scum makes sense: more than likely it is from the layer of soil underneath the Flourite, which is obviously full or organic matter. Surface scum never hurt anything in my main tank so I left it alone.
I picked up some Egeria densa and replaced the Hygrophila polysperma with it. I never had much luck with Egeria in the main tank due to the low-light conditions that exist there so I figured I’d try it in this new tank: it is fast growing and is said to help prevent BGA, and I really like the looks of it.
I also added a DIY CO2 system to the tank. A 2 litre plastic juice bottle filled with 2 ½ cups of sugar, filled a little over three quarters of the way and one third of a teaspoon of all-purpose bread yeast acts as the chamber, while regular air-line tubing connected to a wooden air diffuser goes into the tank. It’s very low-tech and inexpensive to setup. I didn’t take any pictures since anyone can find these setups online by searching on “DIY CO2”.
I didn’t take any readings from the water as I had planned: as I like to say, life got in the way last night so the readings will have to wait until later tonight or tomorrow. At any rate it can wait a little while the tank runs for a few days and things start to settle in there.
Finally, I mentioned in the first post that I have reservations about the Flourite and its usefulness. Well I just found a couple of new concerns last night as I was placing the Egeria in the tank concerning the Flourite. The size of the “grains” is quite a bit bigger than your regular aquarium gravel and looks more like sharp chips of rocks rather than your usual rounded gravel type. This makes planting quite a bit more difficult and one has to be very careful with the plants not to break them as planting. I have broken a few stems in the last couple of days due to the fact that it is difficult to create a hole in the substrate to place the plants into. The other concern is the fact that some of these rock chips are quite sharp and this may pose a problem to the corys I am planning on keeping in there: will the Flourite be safe enough for them not to lose barbels while grazing the substrate? I may have to rethink my stocking ideas…