Time for an update. I finally added plants to my US native stream tank, thereby making my tank build a legitimate thread for this site...albeit nothing along the nature of some of the incredible tank builds that I see on this site. So, from that standpoint, my tank pales in comparison to the tanks on this site as being "planted". More on the plants below.
As you might suspect with a new tank, I had an algae invasion, or outbreak, or whatever it's called. It wasn't unexpected, especially given the high bioload. About two weeks ago, I also cleaned the algae off of the wall, roots and rocks, in addition to a large water change that I'll mention again below. I also cleaned the canister filter, being careful as to not hurt the biological filtering ability of the system. As you can see, it's back.
To combat the algae, I'll be performing another large water change this weekend, complete with more physical removal of the algae. I also planted Vallisneria americana to try and out compete the algae for nutrients. I think that will help, assuming the plants take to the tank. The lighting is adequate (Fluval planted light), along with plenty of nutrients with the heavy bioload, which should help the plants grow and thrive.
I lost a few fish since I stocked the tank, mostly some of the smaller blunt nosed minnows, although one hung in there and is growing. All of the adult fish, except for one black nosed dace, are doing fine. I had to battle ich, and that was the main reason for the fish deaths (4 total fish died). I treated them for three weeks with aquarium salt by raising the SG to 1.003. The ich seems gone and hasn't returned since I stopped treatment by making a 90% water change. The fish still scratch occasionally. I may try a treatment of Prazipro, thinking that they might have flukes that survived the salt treatment, or some sort of other unseen parasite. This leads me to a question...do fish still scratch at times when they are parasite free? Are they really ever parasite free?
Now for some pics followed by another video...
Full tank shot:
Left side, showing the faux roots and current sources (spray bar top left, and circulation pump located behind the roots):
Right side, showing the newly planted Vallisneria americana:
And, finally, a video showing everything and showcasing the fish: