After the pictures above, I went through an absolutely horrendous algae cycle. First, I went through the brown algae stage, followed by green water. I few blackout days did clear it up, but it lead to clado formation. Luckily, by then I had a lot of plants mass, ottos, snails, and dosed it with a Ich medicine which (oddly enough) seem to take care of a lot of my remaining algae issues. I do have hair algae which I am dosing with peroxide via syringe; I am slowly winning. Of course, now I am going out of town for a week, so I worry what the tank will look like when I get back. So much work to get it to this point.
So, the tank is probably "mature" at this point. You see in photos below that there are a lot of plant species in there, including some rare anubias and crypts which I am espeically proud of. And probably $300 worth of Hydrocotyle 'Japan' that IS GOING NUTS!! I thinking about just letting it spread and be the carpet plant. I mean, I am not strong enough to combat it, so if I can keep it away from some of my crypts, it can go any where it wants to. The point: I just have to let a few things either grow and split into more groups, or fill in. It is still very much a work in progress.
On that note, too, my next door neighbor is going to help redo the pedestal and the pendant. Originally, my buddy who made both the pedestal and pendant used pressboard where he could. After a few years of Don Abuse and water changes that didn't go so well, the outside pressboard has bubbled, torn, been gouged, and just looks beat up. The guts that support this monster are still in excellent condition....just the outside aethetics.
Anyhow, here are the next set of pics (taken on 12/15/11)
Right Side "close up" or something....:
Right Front Looking Down:
Left Side looking towards the front Side:
Left Side "close up":