Just did a pretty big overhaul on the tank tonight. All said and done, took me about 3 hours from start to finish. Didn't even do any water tests, which is a shame, but I was getting pretty tired of it all by the end, hahaha! Here is the tank before WC:
The HC carpet really was beginning to struggle. Half of it was no longer anchored, and since all the tank dwellers were determined to tear it apart, I decided it was time for it to go. I did initially think I would pick it all apart and try replanting it (you can see it in water on the counter) and I said to myself, "What the heck am I doing?! This is not worth the headache, I'll just find a different carpeting plant that isn't so finicky!"
I also removed the driftwood from the tank to try and scrub that red/brown stain left over from the BGA I battled a short while ago. Long story short, didn't work.
While fiddling with the HC, I finally solved the riddle. Why on earth did my fish hate that damned carpet anyway? Look what I found swimming about in my dish of HC. I don't know what it is, but I assume fish find them tasty! Sorry for the bad photos, they're just so small it's hard to focus.
And finally, I moved some of the plants around a little. The Alternantera Rosanervig was moved to the side of the tank closest to the window. The bundle I had there was growing a little better than what was in the middle. I think that extra bit of light is helping it. I also cut the older bottoms off and replanted the tops. Then I bunched up the other carpeting plant (can't remember what it's called) in the middle, and trimmed down the Limnophila Sessiliflora and replanted some of the stems. Here's where we're at now:
Sorry for the long post, but thanks for making it this far. Now you can say you did a water change with me, hooray! Almost forgot to mention the new tank dweller. You may know him as Olaf. My daughter picked him out too, just like she picked the Emperor Tetras.