October 21, 2018
August 30, 2018
Clarity Plus 55 gallon acrylic
12 gallon sump
Finnex external refugium (on sump)
48" Beamworks DA 120 6500k
11" Nicrew LED (for the refugium)
Aquaclear 70 powerhead (sump return)
Hydor koralia nano 425 wavemaker
CO2Art Pro-SE dual stage regulator
80mm bazooka diffuser
5lb CO2 tank
Seachem Purigen in The Bag
Peat granules (in a bag in a refugium chamber)
Fish & Inverts
2 German blue rams
2 keyhole cichlids (female)
14 espei rasboras (sold as espei, but mix of hengeli and 1 harlequin)
4 kubotai rasboras (aka microdevario)
2 pearl gouramis (male)
2 neon tetras
2 cherry barbs (female)
1 kuhli loach (who officially lives in the sump after too many escapes)
1+ Amano shrimp (also in sump ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
2 horned nerites
4 assorted nerites
All the Malaysian trumpet snails
Buce black pearl
Buce brownie blue
Buce kedagang purple
Buce red blade
Buce sweet mambo
Cryptocoryne spiralis tiger
Cryptocoryne undulatus 'red'
Cryptocoryne wendtii bronze
Cryptocoryne wendtii green gecko
Cryptocoryne wendtii pink panther
Hydrocotyle sp. Japan
Ludwigia sp. super red
Ludwigia x lacustris
Microsorum pteropus 'Thunder Leaf'
Microsorum pteropus windelov
Myriophyllum red stem
Cryptocoryne albida red
After 4 years limping along as a lightly planted, algae-ridden, heavily neglected afterthought, my 55 gallon acrylic was suddenly foregrounded by two events. One, my wife asked me to move it across the room where we can see it from the couch, kitchen and dinner table. And two, my wife found out Mr Clean magic erasers are safe and effective for algae on acrylic.
Being able and having to look inside the thing, I started cleaning and water changing and buying new fish and plants. It all came to a head when I bought a small bunch of bacopa caroliniana at my LFS and the guy gave me the third degree about my lights (and my inability to describe them beyond "sort of bright LEDs). I insisted I'd take my chances with the $3 in plants, thank you very much. But naturally they did not do well at all under my 30ish LED 36" Marineland fixture. So a few days later I got myself a Beamworks DA 120 0.5W 6500k.
If you're reading this forum, you know roughly what happened next with 4 years of accumulated mulm and ~1 watt of LED per gallon. But I didn't. Green algae went nuts. Meanwhile the BBA and hair algae actually slowed down. So more water changes, a lot of reading, Flourish Excel, Matrix, Purigen, a few rounds of H2O2, a small wave maker to push more detritus to the overflow, and a ravenous school of 6 otocincluses ensued.
Which brings us to roughly where I was this Saturday morning when I rescaped.
Everything out but the fish, water, and half the substrate (a sad mixture of Petco white sand and red caribsea eco complete). Added ~30lbs of black diamond blasting abrasive, 3 pieces of driftwood (including a massive one that had been removed during the darkest days of hair algae) and put half the rocks back in one large pile. I put the plants back, but now grouped by species instead of interspersed and super glued the Java Fern and moss to the big driftwood.