A few updates on the tank. In a different thread I asked for recommendations for fish for the tank and @tamsin
recommended Endlers because they are bold and beautiful as opposed to CPDs which are also beautiful but shy. They also recommended only males which makes a lot of sense. So for now Endlers are my front runner. I read here
that Endlers do not need a heater and that it may actually increase their longevity to have them in cooler water. I am considering hardening up the water a bit as I read that this is better for the shrimp and preferred by the Endlers.
I've been devouring all the old @auban
posts and his tricks post
was really illuminating. After reading it I bought Astaxanthin to make greenwater and Catappa Ketapang leaves to make black water.
I also decided to go back to the original Tom's Bucket o' Mud post that inspired this whole approach in the first place. I found his list of critters
and basically ordered everything I was missing.
"I added (at various points), shrimp, Hyalella and several species of daphnia (big ones got gobbled up very fast but I have a tiny species that hangs on the substrate that still appears from nowhere whenever I have a tank without fish in it - a bit like a mini ostracod). Other than that ostracods, cyclops, freshwater limpets and various other microfauna seeded themselves really. Also had less welcome planaria, hydra and leeches at various points.
I've also now got Asellus and Lumbriculus in some tanks which both make excellent additions. My new Paros are going mad for the Lumbriculus - the worms bury in the substrate with one end waving in the air, which the Paros bite off with glee. Apparently just about any Lumbriculus segment is able to regenerate into an entire worm so they should just grow back."
I already had the scuds and shrimp are coming soon. I ordered moina and daphnia magna which should arrive shortly. I found the Lumbriculus at Carolina Biological
supply and they seem like the perfect worm. Thinking I need to add to the mulm before the worms arrive. There's currently a thin layer of filter sludge which will be a good start but I'll need more. I've been collecting oak leaves. Maybe I can make some kind of slurry in the blender with them. I also want to add nori which my cherries have loved in the past and it really makes their color pop.
Found this nice mix of crustaceans
(Daphnia, Alonella, copepods, ostracods, aquatic isopods, amphipods) from Carolina which should just about complete Tom's list. Well everything but the limpets and the Asellus. Although Tom did so much wild collecting who knows what else was in there.
My java moss order finally arrived and like a dumb ass I only ordered one portion when the seller who was running a 2 for 1 sale had agreed to send me 5 for the price of 2. Doh! I ordered a few other orders from another seller. Hopefully it's enough. I want enough to cover most of the refugium mesh and some to add to the refugium.
Also I'm having thoughts about my pond collection. I'm not seeing any ostracods which are what I was really hoping for and I'd rather not get any weird worms that won't be helpful. I think I may just return the samples to where I got them from. Thoughts?