jhays79, the substrate is a mix of every modern day substrate I have used and the only reason the gravel from the 1970's isn't in there is because the bag broke and it was lost! It is medium sized dark gravel, Schultz's Aquatic Soil [tan Turface], pea sized natural gravel with the biggest bits sifted out and last some SafeTSorb which changed the overall appearance from gold to beige. So far the small stuff isn't broken down SAS but mulm and the stuff is over 10 years old now. I really like the variety in particle size and color variation.
UGags and alkatraz, thanks for the kind comments.
Lately I have been very busy and only had time for water changes. A change this large twice a week seems to do wonders for the plants. This plus rinsing the prefilter is all I have had time for lately.
During the day.
Last night 5 minutes before the lights went off. Rocks have nearly vanished and I have so much moss and small form needle leaf java fern that the wood may be mostly covered soon as well! Usually there is more pennywort floating on the left but I took nearly all of it out this week.
I hadn't checked the overflow box for surfers for a couple weeks and found 11 fish in there last week. There was only 1 this week but no rescue this time as I do better if I pull the standpipe out and I wasn't sure there was room in the sump for the ~6 gallons of water that might be in the overflow box. They do fine in there as food goes overboard and the standpipe is tall enough that there isn't a lot of water movement at the bottom of the box.
BBA has been a bother as I haven't gotten in and removed infested leaves and between large water changes and forgetting to refill the fertilizer cups nitrate has dropped so there is some BGA at the left front of the tank. Not the rear though, interesting. More light in the front? The huge water changes and spraying a 10:1 Metricide mix on the tank when water is low then immediately refilling seem to be annoying the BBA to the point some clumps are falling off and I am vacuuming them out. I just saw a platy attacking an apparently healthy clump yesterday as well. There were some 'cooked' clumps nearby but she wanted that BBA.