Nothing constructive to report. Actually, tank wise, it's been a frustrating week.
About a few days after I got my aquarium set up, I wanted to clean some debris in the aquarium. There's no substrate at the moment, so it's really easy to see debris. And, this one in particular really bugged me cause it's in the corner behind where the branch is held. So, I had to take the branch out of the tank in order to get to it.
When I took the branch out, the Java moss came loose. I never tied it up. But, with the water resistance in play, moving the branch around pulled the moss loose. Also, the Taiwan moss that was sandwiched between the branch and yamaya rocks started flying all over. It has already decayed since it was only half alive when I planted it. So, pieces are all over the tank.
What made matters worse is after a day or so the branch started the white fuzz syndrome. After reading up about it, I realize that perhaps me removing the branch from the water killed off some beneficial bacteria and allowed fungi to grow on the branch. I read this will only last a few weeks. I also read that shrimps will feast on the fuzz, but I don't see the shrimps touching it. And, tanin seems to be leaking more after I moved the branch. Tanin level went down a few days ago but has gone up up up since then. Here's a current state of the tank shot:
So, I planned to redo the scape this weekend but plans kind of fell through. I couldn't make up mind on what I want to do.
One thing I have in mind is to create a carpet out of mini pellia. Reason for mini pellia are 1) shrimp friendly 2) low maintenance 3) slow growth therefore, I suspect there's no floating leaves to clean up or pruning needed. Also, pellia doesn't really require soil, so I don't have to replace soil in the future.
I ordered some mini pellia last week and arrived on Friday. Kinda disappointing with what I received. When removing the plant from USPS box, I found it to be dry with the paper towel holding the plant to be somewhat moist. The leaves are already 10% brown. Not sure I want to use this as it might just decay just like the Taiwan moss did as I received the Taiwan moss in similar condition. Here's a pic:
Would you use it in this condition? Does it even look like mini pellia in this condition? Anyways, after seeing the clump of mini pellia, I figured it might be easier to plant if it were already on mesh. So, I ordered 3 portions from AFA. It should come later this week.
Another thing I want to do is to add a hard ware to the aquarium. Want to do it for two reasons. I think it would look nice if there's something behind/under the branch on the left side of the tank. Plus, I worry that the shrimps doesn't have enough hiding places when they molt (and I don't want to get those ceramic tubes). Yesterday, went hiking specifically for the reason of finding rocks that will compliment the tree as well as having some irregular slopes for the shrimps to evade nosy neighbors when molting. Here are what I found:
I want to use two rocks. Want to put two rocks close together, so there's a bit of a crevice in between for the shrimp to hide. I did pour some vinegar over the rocks to see if they fizz. But, all I have are cooking rice vinegar. Not potent enough? Well, it didn't fizz. I soaked the rocks in vinegar and salt overnight to kill off some bacteria. I read you have to boil it but don't want to do that with my pots.
Anyways, that's it for now. I got some mesh coming. Going to order some UP shrimp sand (damn Amazon just sold out! Guess I will get the Fluval). Going to cover a thin layer with the sand then cover the whole tank up with the mesh except where the rocks will be located. This way, the mini pellia will eventually carpet the whole tank.
Just did some research on Fluval Shrimp Stratum and seems it doesn't support CRS shrimplets well. Not that it is a big deal as I don't intend to breed shrimps or anything. But, I do have some Amazonia ADA soil left, about two hand fulls. This soil is supposed to support shrimplets because it has more nutrients? So, maybe I can just sprinkle some of this stuff over the Fluval. I don't want to get another bag of Amazonia as it leaches a lot of ammonia so I've read.