Sorry if these pics are really bad, I only have a cell phone camera.
My tank was started on Sept 1st, 2007.
Yes, those are 'Fruit Tetras.' Dye-injected fish. I had no idea they did such things in spite of having spent hours every day for months reading everything I could about aquariums. I usually never buy a fish I'm not familiar with, but when I saw them, I thought, "Fruit Tetras? Never heard of them. Well, I've kept Tetras before, so I can get them and just look up this type to make sure they have no special needs." They were in a tank with other, non-painted Skirt Tetras, which I did know about. It wasn't until I brought them home and searched for Fruit Tetras that I found out what they were. Unless you actively search for it, you might never come across this important piece of information. I think every aquarium site should post warnings about the so-called 'painted fish.' Banners on every page that can't be missed. I have since read that the practice of injecting fish with dyes was started in the 70's, but that the outcry among hobbyists was so great that they stopped doing it. Then, in the 80's (Reagan era, when the only morality became strict orthodox worship of the almighty dollar) it came back, but this time with no real resistance. The closest anyone seems to come to resisting the practice nowadays is by writing the occasional disapproving piece about it and posting it on the internet where it will only be found by people actively searching for it and who are, therefore, already aware of it!
My Betta, however, is not painted. I guess you could call him the centerpiece of the tank. Centerfish? I love to see Bettas in a large tank, with plenty of plants to hide among. He keeps trying to make a bubble nest,though, but the current from my Penguin 200 HOB keeps slowly eroding it.
The female was fat with eggs for a while, too. I was hoping they would spawn, even though I knew there would be no survivors in a community tank like mine. I guess I could try reducing the current from my filter. Maybe by sticking a piece of sponge in the intake? Would that harm the filter? I dunno.
I also have three Otos, although I couldn't get any clear pics of them.
In the back, right I have Wisteria, which is growing very quickly. I have made several cuttings of them.
In the back, left are Baby Tears, which aren't growing very quickly. They have only been in there a week, though, and are still wrapped in lead weights. They won't stay down in the fluorite, if I unwrap them, I think.
Front left are Ludwigias (Repens, I think). they are not really growing quickly either. I just separated them yesterday (from their lead weights) and replanted them with a little more room between each other.
Front right there are some Vals. They were all melted by Excel, but two survived. Sort of. I had to cut them down to almost nothing, and they are slowly coming back. One of them even sent out a runner, and began another plant, which is growing quickly.
On some rocks and driftwood I have Java Moss and Java Fern. The fern has been growing plantlets on its leaves. They are still too small to separate, though, I think.
I also have some Riccia on a screen, which I put on top of a tall piece of driftwood, so it would be nearer the light. It wasn't doing too well on the bottom. I am hoping it will grow in so I can cut some loose to float, although I lost two batches of Riccia already because the surface current takes them on a ride around the tank where they always end up stuck under the filter outlet, where they get no light.
Brazilian Micro-Sword is on the substrate out front, and I think it is starting to fill in, although it keeps uprooting (like almost everything in my tank).
Oh, I almost forgot. There is some Penny Wort in there too, and it is doing well.
I would like to add an Amazon Sword as well.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Comments? Questions?