Well, it's been pretty much three weeks. It's definitely filling in a bit. These pictures are a little reassuring. If there was a war between the Micranthemum tweediei & Hydrocotyle tripartita. I believe the Hydrocotyle would be winning. I can definitely see some growth in the Micrathemum tweediei though. I've had to pick off a few of the Hyrocotyle tripartita's leaves that looked like they weren't going to make it and were developing some algae. They look healthy enough that I think it won't be a problem. I've even seen a couple of runners from the Lilaeopsis brasiliensis pop out here and there.
I'm hoping the Micrathemum tweediei starts laying down some more roots soon. I'm happy to see it creeping along the bottom. it looks like everything in there has melted/converted probably 90% of what it is going to do, though I'll have to keep an eye on the lilaeopsis brasilensis as I believe it should be the slowest plant in here. Overall I think I'll have to yank out a few various leaves and bits here and there, but the order for the day seems to be to wait.
I've thought about stocking very little, I may not even put anything in there tbh. I'd love a betta, but I think this tank would have a little more flow than they seem to like and I'm not sure how they'd feel about this sort of open space with nothing to hide under. I may well do some shrimp, but I'd need to figure out a way to keep the filter from sucking them up somehow. I don't really like the thought of little shrimps getting impellered. I think they'd like crawling around all over the place with no fish though. In my larger tank, I feel like baby guppies and baby shrimp reach maturity by their wits and mettle Either way, this tank has a while before I think it would be stable enough for livestock.
The ammonia has dropped to zero on the test kit, so it's definitely cooking some bacteria. I feel pretty certain the aquasoil is still leeching ammonia. The nitrites are way high. I'm not even sure. I've never really been able to tell the difference between 2 and 5 on those little test kits, so I'm just taking it as: a bunch of nitrites. It may be a little less slimy feeling... though I have had my hand in there a bit more too. I feel like nitrates are the last to leave in a cycle, and the last to show up in a boo-boo. I'm guessing the bacteria that eats ammonia must be a little more boom and bust and the bacteria that eats nitrites must be a little heartier. I'm also seeing some nitrates, but I don't think I could pin them down to being a byproduct of bacteria buffet.
Between the growth and the cycle, I have to say that I'm a bit more impressed with the aquasoil than I wanted to be. I believe my bag (which was a little old, this project has been on hold a while) was a little dried out and may have given me a little grief. Barring anything else though, it'll be hard for me to not think about using it again, despite the cost and shipping. I've been putting a little boop of Easy Green in there (it looked like it had some phosphate & potassium that I understand aquasoil to be a bit lacking in, but other than that, it's just sort of going right along.
I've been experimenting a little with water levels and co2 (because if things are going well, you should fiddle until there's a problem). I did pick up a little bubble counter though, so hopefully I'll be a bit more precise in my fiddles. I do think my drop checker is a bit slow to respond due to its size and may eventually try to come up with a better system than the ebay glass diffuser that I'm using now.
We'll see. They've recently bumped my city back to stage one quarantine, so it's nice to have a little project.