I decided to start a tank journal for my recent rescape of my 12 gallon long tank. I'm pretty new to aquatic gardening so I'm hoping I can get your ideas and feedback.
This is what the tank used to look like:
While it was a fun start, I didn't save myself enough room in the background for stem plants, so I decided to do a full rescape a few weeks ago.
I used black diamond blasting sand on top of a very thin layer of worm castings, dolomite, and Mexican clay. The rock is all lava rock from Home Depot that I cut with a masonry chisel.
The idea was to have a concave shape with a path between the two sides. I wanted to grow some mosses, anubias, and bucephalandra on the rock in the foreground with plenty of room for stems on the ledges.
Here is the tank about a week after planting. Major plant groups, from left to right, are limnophila aromatica, staurogyne repens, ludwigia (repens I think?), Java fern, bolbitis heudelotii, limnophila sessiflora (just in there until the next GSAS auction), rotala rotundifolia, pogostemon helferi, and ludwigia senegalensis.
The tank got off to a really good start. I'm using injected CO2 and was very diligent about maintenance. The only inhabitants right now are my cherry shrimp colony and some otocinclus. Then came the holidays.
I didn't get the chance to properly prepare my tank, but I figured that with the light stocking and the timers there would be nothing wrong with just letting it do it's thing. I was wrong. Next pics are what I got back to last night.
My worst ever BBA outbreak, it's all over the Java fern, bolbitis, anubias, limnophila and bucephalandra. There is also a good (read: not good) amount of GSA on the anubias nanji. The ludwigia, rotala, and pogostemon are in pretty good shape.
What happened was the water level evaporated below the level of the surface skimmer intake. I thought the bottom intake would continue to work, but it didn't. So for at least a few days there was no filtration, no heating (it's an inline heater), and no CO2 (inline diffuser).
Luckily the shrimp and otos are fine, and while there was some stress molting I haven't found any dead shrimp. I was too exhausted to do anything last night, so I refilled the tank with water and went to bed.
I'm going to do a big trim and replant on all my stems, I'm sure they will recover just fine. I'm more concerned about the epiphytes covered in BBA. Usually when a leaf gets BBA on it I just trim it off, since I've found that even when I kill it with Excel the BBA never really goes away. But I'm not ready to get rid of all my precious buce! I'm thinking of doing a bleach or H2O2 bath to try and kill all the BBA. Does anyone have experience with this sort of thing? I'd love advice if you have it.
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