This has been a busy week for my aquarium. I began raising my GH a few degrees over time and KH slightly, and I feel like I have my CO2 dialed in to the correct setting. To accomplish this, I purchased a Sera GH and KH kit to measure my current GH and KH, and I also purchased this TDS (total dissolved solids) meter. These things are amazing and cost next to nothing. I paid a little over $8 with free shipping included.
I also created some 4dKH water for my CO2 drop checker using a very accurate sub-gram scale and baking soda. I had gotten pretty close with a Taylor scale that I use for ultralight camping, but this scale is much more sensitive for small amounts in the tenths of grams. I purchased a calibration 100g weight, and it was 99.98 percent accurate without calibration. I'll also be using this scale when making up GH booster solution going forward.
So, that was the new equipment this week. The tank had some elevated nitrate levels from dosing heavily, so I did a number of water changes and brought the nitrates down to the 10 PPM range. I then added a clean-up crew to deal with algae. This population will be reduced soon and they will be divided up with my son's tank.
I added two zebra nerite snails. One hardly moves and sits in the hairgrass all day. The other has covered every rock and every bit of "glass" in my tank two times. You can also see in the background the next two members of my clean-up crew.
I added two Amano shrimp. The next morning, I checked on them, and one was lying dead in the dwarf hairgrass.
I tweezered his lifeless pale body out. I was worried when I purchased him, because he seemed less active than the other Amano and looked paler in color. That evening, I looked on top of a rock, and there were two shrimp. What the heck! I looked in the trash, and then I realized what had happened. My pale Amano didn't die...it molted!
Now, both Amanos have molted. They have been enjoying the algae, some flake fish food, and blanched zucchini.
The last members of the clean-up crew appeared to be starving when I purchased them, but they are fat and happy, now. They love rooting around in the hairgrass and cleaning the rocks and "glass". They are very active and love swimming the length of the tank at blinding-fast speeds. Here are my two otos camped out beside my nano diffuser.
Last but not least, here is the updated tank shot. The dwarf hairgrass continues to recover, and the hemianthus glomeratus continues to grow at a nice fast pace, and is being trimmed and replanted for a thick bush effect behind the rocks. You may notice the anubias are gone. I donated the remainder of my anubias nana 'petite' to my son's tank. The scale just didn't work for what I was trying to achieve. Next week, I have Boraras brigittae coming in. Woohoo! Can't wait.