23 March 2018

window tank plants

They seem a bit improved with the longer daylight hours now-
Windelov ferns
There's another one here between the bits of subwassertang, and vallisneria in front of filter
most of the subwasser is in front right corner. It's perking up a bit.
Bolbitis fern has a few new leaves. I cut some of the old ones out, that were darker and curling.
Anubias isn't much to look at, since it turns away to face the light ...
One of the suspect sagittaria came uprooted and had no new growth- roots rotting. I tossed it. The other is hanging on a bit longer.
There's still a small piece of regular java fern in here. I ought to move it into a different tank. It's not really happy.
Small crypts in the front I've finally figured are crypt willisii.
Crypt retrospiralis have hung on all winter. I hope to see more growth when it warms up.

clay arches

I moved the larger pot shard out of Perry's tank, into the 38gal. He wasn't making use of it anyway. Using some small rubber bands, fastened on top all the little java fern 'trident' plantlets, gathered from both tanks. It's hard to get a photo because the plantlets are still small, but they are growing.
This larger clay cave is slighty behind some of the crypts, I wanted it to be more subtle in the layout
they're such a bright color, which should get softened in time with java ferns and moss planted over- right now echoes the serpaes' colors
End note- found a tiny bit of crypt rhizome that sprouted. I think it's another piece of willisii.

22 March 2018

tenner green

I always feel like I'm finally doing something right by my plants, when I see them pearling after a ferts dose-
effect in my tank is usually subtle, but its there
Here's a recent short side view
other end-
Full tank shot- actually from a few weeks ago before I pulled the crypt lutea from back left, and replaced it with anubias lanceolata.

cory family

It's not such a marvel anymore, looking into the little tank and seeing the youngest catfish- as you can tell, because I'm no longer obsessed with taking frequent pictures of Lucky
He's following the adults around more, now- not just at feeding times, it's still easiest to get a photo of them together at that moment

main tank

pic from last week

20 March 2018

March chill

it's raining ice right now, due to turn into several inches of snow soon. I'm kind of glad I don't have tender seedlings out. Earlier this morning I went outside and opened a bag of saved leaves. I added a leaf blanket over the tender, newly emerged rhubarb, arum, sage, daylily, sedum, dusty miller, chrysanthemum, salvia and columbine foliage. Heaped up a bit more leaf mulch around the young euonymus shrubs, the lilac and lenten roses. The rhodies and hydrangea still have several good inches of mulch, and the hostas too -which haven't shown any growth yet anyhow.

Incidentally, the deer have been coming through my yard again. I find their sharp hoofprints and droppings, some plants have been nibbled. They have left completely alone the fat new buds on my forsythia, and the young shrubs near my compost heap, both of which had irish spring soap hanging on them or nearby. The little shurbs further off, and my nandina on the side yard slope, have tons of leaves neatly missing. Two of the little shrubs are bare stems, stripped entirely. I bought another package of that green soap and made a few more hanging bags of it. Small enough I hope they aren't an eyesore, cut the soap bar into several chunks and hung one piece on each bitten plant. It does seem to work as a deterrent.

18 March 2018

shrimp closeups

Malaya shrimps newly in my tenner, must have be alarmed at first by the boisterous activity of the cories, especially when spawning (still a frequent occurrence). I don't see the shrimps much.
they are starting to come out a bit more into the open now, their orange bold against the greenery.
I managed to get a few closeups of this one walking across the substrate near glass
And near the little crypt parva

thru the window

My plants in the one good winter sun spot- viewed from outside
Elephant ear, jade, ice plant, tarragon, geranium, lithops, Zebrina in the background.

16 March 2018

another malaya

I found another Malaya shrimp in the main tank, and moved it. I'd forgotten I had four.
One of them got bold enough to crawl out onto the filter
and under shelter of buces

new fry...

On 3/6 I saw something move on substrate that wasn't the tiny heaving of trumpet snails. It was the tiny wriggle of a fry.
So very small- a face with a tadpole tail- it must have just hatched.
With the loop I could see its tiny mouth move, its pectoral fins waving. But I haven't seen it since. I bet an adult fish or shrimp ate it (yes there are shrimp in here now, I'm working on updating the blog). Or even Lucky might have.

15 March 2018

growing out!

I don't know if it's my imagination, but I think Perry's caudal fin extensions are a bit longer
especially the lower one
hard to get a picture, because if I'm near he zooms back and forth across the front of the glass, so most shots come out like this
the newer pothos cuttings' roots have finally taken off, that's hard to get a picture too, just because of the angle
I still routinely test nitrates weekly, just to keep tabs on how things are doing that I can't see... and the week those roots sprouted, nitrates suddenly dropped from the usual 30 or 40ppm to less than five. I bet because suddenly they were taking up more nutrients. I expected other plants in the tank would look peaky then, but the windelov are even greener, and Vals have quit melting. Maybe because longer hours of daylight now. I did just over a ten percent wc this past week, instead of twenty.
I might start doing once-every-other week wc on this tank, if it seems sufficient. I didn't set it up like a walstad. Am just kind of experimenting as I go...And its been -ahem- almost three months since rinsing out his filter media, the flow is finally starting to slow down. I'm doing that tomorrow with maintenance.

14 March 2018


I have several new Amano shrimps now, bringing their numbers in the main tank to seven. I moved out my Malaya shrimps and put them in the tenner upstairs, with the peppered cories.
Caught this one after the others and couldn't acclimate him to the other tank right away, so I propped the net just under rim of lid and put a piece of lexan over it to prevent jumping out, while waiting.
Floating in the bag
They are all hiding now.