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This tank is a little happenstance tbh.

I haven't really had a low tech tank in a hot minute and recently tore down my high tech mini m. For some reason I got a betta stuck in my head and wanted to make a little house for it. I think I was also heavily into trying a sponge filter. I blame youtube. I got the this particular tank mostly because I had the stand for it and it looked like the exact size was going to be a thing of the past soon enough (it's 60cm x 45cm). The company I originally was going to buy from seemed to quit making and selling them...

Ok, so what had happened was: Originally, the stand held a little tank. I think I really missed the picotope from my signature and wanted to give that one a go again. I had lots of fond memories of my kitties playing in and enjoying it. I had in my mind that it would be this high tech igwami type thing with real aquasoil and everything. Honestly, the water changes were a terrible pain with such a light substrate and small tank, added to that was the ridiculous growth and constant pruning (probably my plant choice). I just decided that it wasn't for me. I think I was chasing down a memory from when they were in vogue ten or fifteen years ago.

So, armed with a tank choice and a half-baked plan for an eventual inhabitant I went ahead and set this tank up. With an overall goal of having a low tech chill spot for a betta. The eventual fish was also why I went with a heater. I normally don't care for them or use them. I'm not 100% sure he needs it, but the interwebs are filled with numerous and sundry warnings that they like them. He did come from a cup.

This is about two days after it was set up. I really just shopped at my 40 to stick some stuff in there to help with the cycle and started dropping ammonia in. I had some Cryptocoryne Tropica, Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus, Dwarf Sagittarius, I think a banana plant leaf maybe. I was hoping that the cypts would fill in a bit with a little dwarf sag sprinkled around, I mostly put in the pogostemon to grow fast and help fill everything in.


like a week later and all the crypts melted


a few more weeks and all the pogostemon melted.
I also capped the stratum as it looked like it was going to bother me and threw in a few leaves... for reasons. I also threw in some trimmed too much java fern that was too tall for my 40, but seemed pretty healthy. I threw in another Cryptocoryne Tropica. I chose a little guy with big roots this time. The main stem promptly rotted off.


After the cycle was done a resident was added. I like him. He likes to eat and seems happy in his little space. His fins have opened up a bit, they were kind of squished in the cup, but he has a calic on his dorsal fin. I'm not sure if that's just the way it is, or if it'll grow out or something. I was originally going to get one of the cool short finned ones, but this little fella just seemed to want to come home with me. He's not out of focus on purpose, he's actually pretty keen on looking at me when I look at him, I just take bad pictures.


This morning. Note the diotoms are the fastest growing, but they're not even doing that much. The moss is definitely growing, I can see its little bright green tips and the sprig of rotala, which has quintupled in size, ensures me that things are indeed growing sorta. I threw in a mystery mislabeled and forgotten plant (hygrophila of some sort I'd guess), I can see that it folds up at night and stretches during the day, but I see no new leaves! I'm fairly positive the java fern has leafed at least one new leaf, if not two! A careful inspection of the pictures in this post show that maybe some stuff is growing. The wood snot is the clear winner here.


If you were to blow this last picture up to a poster size, you could see that the last ditch cypt and I threw in, after shedding its main stem, has sprouted up a couple of little leaves, there are four to be precise. They each emerged with the speed of a brick wall. They are almost impossibly small! They are tiny, but they are growing! They are growing real slow.

The tiniest of crypt, the few minute sprouts of dwarf sagittarius, and the little pile of dying/growing slowly pogostemon stare at me and test me. I don't know if it's too much light, or too little. I don't know if I should fertilize or just keep feeding Scruffy. The last time I did a low tech tank, it was somewhat difficult to get enough light over a tank to grow much of anything. now it seems like it's pretty easy to blast in whatever light you want. I purposely, and perhaps excessively, underlit this tank. In my mind's eye I pictured shadows and plenty of dark spots for the betta. Is it too much, too little? I'm fairly practiced with my 40, but this tank is a whole 'nother beast. I have no idea what is going on, and it takes a long time to figure it out. A week is a long time across the room, but here? Here the leaves seem to grow in imperceptible increments.

Time will tell, but it will apparently take its...time.
 
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