Lets set aside plants for a moment:
When you add in fish, pay attention to the particular needs of the fish kept, and think about keeping these particular fish healthy in the long-term -mulm accumulation can pose a problem. A bacterial problem. Unfortunately, not all bacteria that accumulates in the aquarium is of the beneficial kind.
- Now that you have added a Betta, will you be doing more water changes then you have done previously- 2 gallons over 7 weeks?
With one betta not sure, I’ll watch tank for excess algae growth and keep eye on phosphate and nitrate levels, I’m planning another 1gal water change this week and removing a bit more of the mulm when I do it. Betta has taken out probably 90% of my population of ramshorn and can confirm that some betta do eat snails, he’s growing like a weed though and up until last couple days has shown very little interest in dried bloodworm and pellets. As well as pink ramshorn that came with that mulm culture it also had a nice culture of microworm (Panagrellus sp.) and those are almost non-existent now after one week also. I’ve watched him pick nematode from glass, pop down baby ramshorn like appetizers and suck adults right out of their shell.
But I’ve got another tub in basement that I’ve kept in isolation so I can repopulate as needed. Basically I’ve been taking all excess clippings of plants from 7gal, drying them a week and adding to that tub as organic matter for them to feed on. So my bioload in 7gal has shifted from snail poop to betta poop.
recycling so to speak.
Thought about having my friend run TOC test again but not sure if really necessary. That’s some high dollar water testing.
Bacteria? That’s kind of whole point of this little tank. Way main water current flows into front bowed glass pushes micro current up under this little 16x9 bed. The mix of Flourite/blast sand is tight enough that large quantities of unprocessed mulm cannot get into deep areas. All the breakdown of organics happen in top 1” aerobic environment, no possibility of deep substrate sour/putrid/sulfide pockets and the undesirable fauna that come with them. All the broken down carbon, nitrogen, phosphate etc are released into water column and also pushed back under gravel to CEC binding sites along with health dose of oxygen. Rotala loves it.
Here’s a short video showing front area of bow front. I keep this area forked up with planting tongs so it has good current feed into gravel bed. You can see leaves moving in rather brisk current here (aquaclear 20 at about half power). Can also see huge runners rotala is sending out trying it’s best to encircle the whole tank, easily growing 7-8” along gravel a week as well as sending up vertical shoots all along its length.
I know most people look at this tank as a ill kept calamity waiting to happen but I can assure you everything from water flow to gravel selection, plant selection and maintenance routines/dosing were all thought out well in advance of even setting hardscape in.
Finnigan the the betta had spot in front of his left eye, at 1st I thought it might be a anchor worm, but was just slight tear in flesh, 3 days in tank completely gone/healed. Most fish when put in favorable water conditions and all stressors removed from environment will quickly heal their coat and become impervious to anything bacterial or fungal. Sure the steady diet of ramshorn and nematodes also helped considerably. In week I’ve had him he’s put on probably close to a 1/4” in size and is building bubble nests under floaters.