18 February 2018

main tank

The other week I put root tabs again- and quite a few of the plants are responding. I had totally forgotten there were a few fragments of crypt parva rhizome left in here- and two of them sprouted new leaves. (They could be bits of crypt willisii, but I think it's parva).
I am still a bit confused if these plants in the center of my tank are ludwigia repens or hygro something. Because so long ago everything was melting and dying and I never really knew which ones grew back. I'm guessing it's really the ludwigia, though- because the hygro corymbosa I put in here is pretty much all dead now. That last bit in this pic just melted away this week. I'm letting some of these stems grow tall enough to hit the surface- if one flowers maybe then I can tell.
Some of my crypts put root hairs up from the substrate. Not sure why. I sold in that batch a few of the babies, pulled up those that were growing very close to the parents or against the glass.
Full tank shot:
In ambient light (and before hornwort was trimmed for the week):

Lucky update

I think my catfish fry is about a month and a half old now. He's starting to look like a proper little catfish. After this week's water change (removing the last of prazipro medication) it is looking a lot more perky, although still pale sometimes. It's about the size of one adult's caudal fin lobe, now.
I looked back at previous photos and seems he's always had that white line/marking under the eye. I wonder if it will disappear into the pattern in time? Pics:
Hides from me a lot now. Under the buces:
Not a fish pic: one of my buce 'isabella' has a new leaf sprouting and I admire its fresh, paler green and ruffled edges.

17 February 2018


Schefflera, on the other hand, is doing much better now.
This is the little one (which I once hoped to prune into a kind of bonsai tree shape) grown from a cutting someone gave me. Last week I repotted it. Moved into a pot that wasn't much deeper, but an inch or so wider. Really I wanted to get a look down in there. When I upended it, found the roots were nice and healthy, but the base of the stem had been buried last time I repotted it. Not by much- just 1/4"- but I made sure to plant it back at the previous depth. It responded well. No more leaf drop, color seems improved too (although that might just be from the humidity treatments I'm giving it as well).


My last 'butt plant' isn't doing so good. It is still too leggy, leaning slightly no matter what spot I shift it too, seeking the brightest winter sun. It is starting to look puckered, shrively- which means, finally, water! I gave it a little, anxious not to overdo it, but it seems to be going downhill .

16 February 2018

baby cacti?

I have found more of these tiny prickly things sprouting in the depths of my boston fern:
There's six or seven of them now. Funny because you think a fern needs damp soil, and cactus totally dry. The fern is looking crowded. I ought to divide and repot it, clean out excess dry crowns. But several times in the past have killed all the divisions, so reluctant to upend it now.

15 February 2018


The other day I moved my foxtail fern aside to get into the worm bin. I set it in the opposite room where it could get some light meanwhile. And it looked so pretty there I had to take a picture.
(Normally my photos of it look somewhat cramped, like this)
One of my gardening books notes that to keep foxtail fern bushy, it should be pinched back. I guess I ought to do that since the trailing foliage is about to touch the ground. I like it long, though.

14 February 2018

what's wrong, tarragon?

My plant is sad.
I cleaned out all its dead stuff- lots- and gave it a new home. Succulent soil mix with a bit of richer potting soil and crushed eggshells stirred in. Inch layer of potting shards in the bottom for good drainage, and this pot sits inside another (the white decorative one doesn't have a drain hole).
At least what's left of the foliage looks healthy. I can't tell if the dried leaves/stems were from poor conditions- too much, too little water? or an insect pest. It seemed to have little spiderwebs stuck in the leaves but could be dust.
I broke off some tiny new shoots while stripping the dead leaves off, and tucked them into soil in case they can root and grow.
It's in a tall narrow pot because quite a bit had got leggy and hung down. Kind of pretty, but I don't know if that's normal, healthy growth habit for this plant, to have trailing stems.
I'm eating it again. Lovely in scrambled eggs.

not sure, sweet potato

I'm a bit sad I only have three small pieces of sweet potato vine left. And only one variety. I will probably just have to buy some more come spring.
It is happier in this brighter spot, but still looks a bit anemic to me. The other day I inspected close and found a few of the small white bugs. Checking early in the morning they are slow enough I can squish. Looking very close I found some tiny oval orange eggs on the leaf undersides. Scraped them off with fingernail- I bet it's the same bug. Hoping for improvement now.

I checked all the surrounding plants- especially the big jade, the coleus and tarragon. They look okay, insect hasn't spread yet. Except something is ailing tarragon- see next post.

13 February 2018

Perry's tank

I recently sold (locally) a batch of trimmings and extra plants. Most from this tank. Doesn't look much different. I moved out twenty pieces of hornwort, a dozen vallisneria that had come loose from the substrate (so pulling them didn't kick any mulm into the water), a few clumps of subwassertang, and most of the moss- which I'm still growing out in a jar. Here's what I have left of that:
Perry's tank got a bit more leaf litter added this past week. I'm not adding it as frequently as with the other tanks- the leaves seem to break down slower in the colder water. Pothos vines sure are taking a long time to grow out- either that or sweet potato was crazy quick in comparison. Only just now are new roots starting to sprout at the base of the stem cuttings. There was a bit of brown algae on the front and side glass near the window, its soft enough I can just wipe off with my fingers. I don't vacuum the gravel in here but just kind of stir near the substrate with the hose when removing old water, to kick stuff up and siphon it out.

12 February 2018

fry update

I'm not sure how my fry Lucky is doing. A few days ago I did the weekly water change, and the little fish looked distressed afterwards. In fact, they all did. A day before the dose of prazipro was done, everyone looked better especially the oto wasn't breathing hard anymore. But I saw a few of the adult cories flash once again, so just to be sure I did a second dose of prazi after the water change. I also dosed the usual ferts. Came to look in the tank half an hour later, and the fish all looked poorly. Momma was lying on her side under some buces panting,
the oto sitting propped up in the mouth of the cave
and the males in other spots- Leo so lethargic he didn't even move away when I got close with the camera-
you can see from this side view his tail was a bit pinched too.
I'd never really seen them sit so still. The fry looked worst of all, quite pinched:
And I don't know what's up with its eyes. It seems to have a white mark through the bottom of the eye- is this normal?
I was alarmed when a little later I put in a tiny bit of food to see their reaction. Nobody really moved. The only thing I could think was- did I accidentally put a drop too many of Prime? or did the ferts and medication interact and reduce oxygen content? I did a partial water change.

The fry perked up a little bit, but still acted weak and let itself drift into corners. At which point I got a closer look at it, and the tail fin looks a bit ragged. Sigh.
A day later and the adult fishes act totally normal. They're spawning again. Momma stuck a bunch of eggs under the heater this time.
Fry seems a bit better. It's definitely grown- the belly no longer looks transparent but has white solid color like the adults' now.
It seems to increase noticeably in size every day- these pics on leaf litter a few days apart:
And here in the windelov fern:
on anubias:
But I'm still a bit worried about it. This morning the tail looked pinched again, and even though it was going after the food I sprinkled in, it seemed to have trouble swimming. Wriggling around in the plants and sometimes tumbling as if it couldn't swim straight. Because the tail fin is clamped? did it somehow get neurological damage? I don't know if I'm doing right to feed the tank a bit extra, maybe the water is not kept clean enough or it isn't getting the right density of nutrition.

If another one hatches out, I think I will either: feed the tank normal and let it take the chances (of starving). Or put the fry in mesh breeder box or separately in a tote to raise it where I can feed extra just for the baby fish.... This one, I don't know how it will turn out.