Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Thanks for the interest anubi!
Well the tank has had a rough month. It filled in beautifully for about 3 months (will post pictures soon) full growth, green moss, got all the algae under control, all the plants were growing wonderfully, then trouble struck:
1. After a few months some pockets in the moss, and undergrowth had become reservoirs for crap. The flow path of the water just moved everything into little nooks and crannies. Thus I had a boom of beard and staghorn algae, and some black slime stuff that grew in and around the filter. Figured that one out but had to rip up a lot of the moss to get to the globs of crap.
2. As expected the German Ram out grew the tank, and before I knew it all my CRS were munched! I found a home for him, but catching the little punk proved to be extremely difficult without easy access to the corners of the tank. After about an hour I ended up completely ripping up the scape, and having to start fresh.
3. Most recent battle is heat, we had a couple hot days in California, and I don’t have AC in the living room. My tank got up to a sweltering 88F! All the fish survived but I don’t think my plants were to happy about it.
Growth has slowed substantially as I think the plants are re-rooting, they don’t like the heat, and I think it is re-cycling a bit due to the large amount of substrate disturbance. The lighting is still working perfectly! And gets the corners of the tank very well.
Things I have learned:
1. If you put a fish in, don’t plan on getting it out!
2. Plan your scape with the tall plants under the access hole, so you can bend there leaves away while reaching in.
3. Branches are a bad idea, as they get caught on your net/hands/tweezers easily and rip out anything that is attached or close to them.
4. More powerful filter might be needed in heavily planted tanks, don’t leave little pockets that can collect stuff, as moving the vacuum nozzle to corners of the tank and around plants is impossible.
I will post some pics in a few days.