So this tank's been flooded for a week now, figured it was time for some new photos. Updates for this tank will generally be on weekends--my office mates think I'm crazy enough without going around taking photos of an empty aquarium.
Here's a basic overall tank shot:
The rotala is growing in nicely, especially the shorter stems that you can't see behind the blyxa. Blyxa isn't melting, but that's about all I can say for it so far. There are a couple of stem roots forming though, so hopefully it's happy.
HC is staying alive (as far as I can tell) though it's not doing much else so far. In a couple of places it's growing some hanging roots and winching stems toward the substrate, and in others it's going straight up. Hopefully with time it will adjust to being underwater and start growing more quickly. It's pearling at least (starts about an hour after lights on) so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
When I started the filter on this tank, I swapped out half of the media that came with it and filled it with cycled eheim media. I was hoping that would be enough to prevent a cycle, but apparently the rumors are true and netlea leaches ammonia in a serious way.
Apparently I forgot the colour chart at home, but I think it's safe to say the ammonia is "high" and leave it at that.
Hopefully some major water changes will help clear some of that out
One advantage of setting up a tank in a lab (or across the hall from one anyway) is a handy supply of useful glassware.
What really burns about this setup is that the room across the hall is plumbed for 30psi CO2 (along with natural gas, vacuum and compressed air). I played around with the idea of running lines over the ceiling somehow, but it seemed like I would be pushing physical plant's tolerance for my little toy.
I'm hoping that the ammonia issue sorts itself out soon so I can stock some cherry shrimp and forestall my colleague's various suggestions--At least my immediate neighbour has kept fish before and wants neons, but some of the more absurd have ranged from turtles and axolotls to a red-tailed shark.