So I guess its time to update the journal again, given that its been 4 weeks and all.
Since then, I've added quite a few things to the set up. I switched out the old white coralife bulbs for some giesemann bulbs (superflora and tropic). At first I found it a bit pink, but my eyes have since adjusted and I'm very happy with the spectra. I think my greens could look a bit greener, but I'm happy with the switch. I also just added a 3 hour period in mid-day when I will have the old actinic bulbs. I just started this yesterday, so we'll see how it goes on that front. I also bought some almond leaves for some light water tannins, which I quite like.
About 3 weeks ago I started noticing some cyano, so after some research I decided it was time for ferts. I ordered this PlantGuy's Macro and Micro 1L PPS combo (free shipping)
, and I've been quite happy with my 5mL dosing of macros and micros daily along with a capful of excel daily. I also chose to up my flow by using the other koralia powerhead. Since then, it has slowly receded and is only present in very small amounts on a few old leaves (crypts, anubias). Very pleased.
As far as flora and fauna, there's been quite a few additions. For plants, I got some ludwigia online (which was supposed to be repens, but seems just too small to be so) as well as some cabomba and ludwigia repens from my LFS. No complaints. They also came with some egeria najas, duckweed, and snails, so those all went into the QT where hitchhikers are allowed to run wild. So far no snails in the main tank, which is kinda nice. Just last friday I got 3 1.5" SAEs (true ones, made sure of that!) and they are absolutely lovely. Shoaling, clearing off the plants, and generally being adorable. Can't complain thus far.
As for growth, given that its been a month, its been fairly minimal for most things. My bacopa is absolutely my favourite plant, and its grown 3-4 inches over the month. Just can't wait for it to hit the surface so that I can replant some stems and fill out the corner. The ozelot sword has transitioned completely to its submersed form with the longer, darker leaves and the amazing blood red of the sprouting ones. Its also shrunk down in size a bit which is a plus. The anubias (parent and two offspring) each have a new leaf that has coloured up. Crypts all have new sprouts, and I had minimal melting (maybe 5 leaves total). Not sure how typical that is, but it made clean up pretty straight forward. The java fern is doing better since I started dosing macros (I was seeing signs of nitrate and K deficiency), and I'm planning on bringing my larger fern (which is now removed from the driftwood and settled on the substrate) for a trade in. I guess the last thing to comment on is my rotala. It basically has been hanging on for dear life, not really growing at all (maybe an inch in the month). The tips have leaves growing in more densely, but the plant isn't looking particularly healthy. I'm hoping the new shoots at the substrate will start taking off since they are accustomed to the conditions of the tank. Any insight from anyone? I'd love for the rotala to grow enough that I could trim it and fill it in a bit. Ah well, in the mean time its okay.
Future plans are still to work on the sand bed. I got some black vinyl that I'm planning to use to separate the substrates and currently I'm soaking it in some water to make sure its clean and won't leach anything really vile. Still not sure where I'll get pool filter sand at this time of year. As for fish, I think I'm sold on the harlequins. Saw some on the weekend and the colours and shoaling is just lovely to look at. Still thinking about some panda cories, too. At the very least they will be tabled until the sand beach is put in.
Below is an updated FTS: