Happy New Year folks!
It has been fascinating watching the tank evolve. I added livestock in November. First ones to go in were red eye tetras. Then came in a few Serpae Tetras and Cherry barbs, added the three Rathbuni Tetras from my 7G to the tank too, 4 painted(dyed) glass tetras,a few swordtails and most recently Kuhli Loaches.
Current livestock is:
- 20x Red Eye Tetras
- 12x Serpae Tetras
- 5x Cherry Barbs (added 6, lost one)
- 4x Glass Tetras (P. ranga )
- 4x Sword tails
- 1x Rathbuni Tetra [added 3 lost two day one of adding them]
- 4x Kuhli Loach
All these fishes were added gradually over a period of 2 months. I really dislike the trend of "painting" fishes by injecting dyestuff into their systems, and Ive made it pretty clear to my LFS several times. However, seeing as though there is always a demand for these fishes, he isn't gonna stop bringing more, and this practice isnt gonna stop. I wanted to get glass catfish, so I was interested in the P. ranga for a long time. So I thought maybe I'll just get a few painted individuals and hope their dye fades soon and they turn back to their natural self.
The various plants that finally made it to my tank are:
- Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia
- Echinodorus argentinensis - medium
- Echinodorus parviflorus
- Sagittaria subulata
- Echinodorus grisebachii
- Hygrophilla corymbosa “ Compacta”
- Limnobium laevigatum
- Cryptocoryne wendtii
- Cryptocoryne spiralis - Red
- Microsorum pteropus "Wrinkled Leaf" on SS pad
- Anubias barteri 'Coin Leaf' -Pot
The other event was the battle with cloudy water!
The tank had turned almost opaque with the cloudy water, first it was a bacterial bloom, then green water, then it was simply cloudy for some god forsaken reason.
Here is a picture of the tank in October, shortly after planting.
As you can see, the water was already a bit cloudy, but it was okayish.
The floaters quickly dropped long roots. These ended us being a good source of snacks for the fishes later on.
The first pioneers to swim in this setup. Water is still cloudy and getting worse everyday. All my parameters were normal.
The tank was at its worse during this time. This pic is from 14th November, and the tank stayed the same way till the end of December.
I tried various things, total blackouts for days on end, reduced photoperiod to just 6 hours a day, daily 20% water changes, weekly 80% water changes, added "aquaclear" which supposedly removes cloudiness, but nothing worked. The tank was still cloudy. The only difference was that instead of green water, the water was now milky white. After scratching my head a lot, I had an idea about raising the temperature. I've seen plants absolutely go wild in warmer waters (35C and up), so much that even algae cant keep up. However, 35C is way too hot for a tank with livestock, so I raised it to what I felt was the highest fishes could handle, and kept it at 28C. And in just 3 days, this was how the tank looked:
You can see the stark difference within just 3 days in this image:
I wanted to share this picture of one of the male cherry barbs, its super saturated but looks cool
Here's a small gif I made, 5 minutes in the tank condensed into 15 seconds.
I've deviated quite a bit from my initial plan but I went with what I like and I am happy with the tank as of now. Now the only thing that the tank needs are a few larger fish. I was thinking of adding rainbows as soon as they are available, bosemani for sure, along with a few red rainbows. How many can this tank hold?
Another challenge that I am planning on undertaking is keeping discuss in this tank. I am planning on getting 4 semi-adults. I've read a lot and it looks like todays breeds are quite a lot tolerant to aquarium conditions and foods as compared to the wild caught ones and I feel it maybe possible for me to keep a few in this tank. Addition of larger fishes will also make the smaller fishes school tighter which would make the tank look even better. Fingers crossed!