I said I would post a pic in my last update. My dog was sick so that was more important than posting tank pictures. Unfortunately I lost her to a large, gross, tumor that was discovered in her liver. It was inoperable and she was in pain so we did the right thing. Being dog-less hasn't been easy and I haven't been dealing with it well; this too shall pass.
On to a lighter subject...
My camera is too slow to catch the Giant Danios, so what looks like weird hair algae in the middle of the picture is actually fish. They remind me of the seagulls on Finding Nemo. If they could say "Mine! Mine! Mine!" every time I feed them, they would. "Frank" the Angel fish was hiding behind the Java ferns on the left, but you can see the Ram. Speaking of the Angel and the Ram, they were having a dispute yesterday over who was going to be in one spot. It wasn't serious and no harm was done; there lots of flaring. It was my son who decided the Angel should be named Frank. I don't know where or why he came up with the name and I haven't bothered to ask.
Speaking of the Giant Danios, I've lost count of how many plantlets of Dwarf Sag and Dwarf Val that have died at their expense. I can't add plants that only have a few roots to this tank as the 'seagulls' uproot them in their mission to find any bite of food they come across. The Italian Vals, Jungle Val and the newly added Red Ruben Vals are fine along with all the Anubias and Java ferns, but to add anything that would be considered 'delicate', fehgetaboutit.
The Red Ruben Vals came in Saturday; they're going to melt and need time to adjust. Seeing as the Giant Danios can't play nice with plants, I'm going to buy more. I sent out a email about getting more Needle Leaf Java fern and it seems as though it isn't easy to find, so I'll add it when I can find it. I have found that plants ordered closer to home come in less stressed than those that have to make the trip across the country, so I'm going to stick to getting plants that way.
The Bleeding Heart tetras that I've been talking about forever died Friday. The only other original fish to this tank is my Panda Cory who is still hanging in there at a old age of 12.
I had 2 things of Giant Hairgrass; one of them was pulled this morning when I did tank maintenance as it wasn't doing well. They have been in the tank for a few weeks; the one I pulled didn't really develop new roots. If I left it in there it was just going to continue to shed and pollute the water column, so I'm down to one.
In my last post I grumbled about diatoms which I seem to have gotten a handle on. I can't say it was one specific thing that fixed the problem as I did pretty much what I said I was going to do. I changed the fishes' food; pitched what was equal to fish junk food. I dumped a entire bottle of Dr.Tim's All in One Bacteria in the tank, have continued water changes as usual and discovered the pump that I added isn't doing what I need it to do. There is nothing wrong with the pump itself, I just haven't found the ideal place to put it.
Food for whatever reason likes to collect along the back wall of the tank. I do vacuum back there, but apparently I wasn't doing it enough and the java fern that is along the dragon stone on the left also tends to be a food and gunk collection spot. It would be reasonable to move the pump to the right side of the tank and have it hit those areas and it's a simple thing to do, but at the moment I don't care. It is just as easy to make sure those spots as well as the java ferns themselves are well vacuumed every week. Moving the pump isn't on the priority list, I'll get to it at some point.
Other than that, the tank is what it is. I accidentally killed a anubia by doing the very thing people are told not to do. I put a root tab too close to it's roots and it melted as a result. I need to find better spots for root tabs.
EDIT: I've found that Nutafin KH test kits register as zero when a tank reads below 1 dkh. Salifert KH test kits do read and register below 1 dkh, so if anybody is having KH issues and is wondering if their tank really has zero for a KH, try the Salifert test kit. It is simple to use and you'll be better off knowing rather than fudging with water chemistry like I've been doing.