21 October 2014

telling seasons

by the houseplants. A few of them are actually at their best during fall and winter here. The poinsettia is looking lovely, leaves growing fast, visibly larger every day.
Cyclamen continues to grow new foliage with vigor as well. I don't know if I should hope for flowers again in spring, but I do.

20 October 2014

doing better

Another plant which has improved lately, but I'm still leery to bring indoors yet is the lemon balm. I moved it into a smaller pot, cut out all the dying foliage, gave it fresh soil with vermicompost a short while back. It's got bigger, healthier looking leaves now. Still a bit of the discolored pale splotches on leaves. I wonder if the new soil and pot has done it good, or perhaps it just likes cooler weather.

19 October 2014

parsley status

My parsley plant is doing great inside. I've already eaten half of it, and it's sprung back with new fresh leaves from the center. The foliage shows no signs of that mottled disease it had when growing outside, and there's none spread to nearby plants yet either. As far as I can tell. Happy with it.

18 October 2014

moving the worms

via their own crawling power. I figured it was high time to get them into a new bin- there's still bits of bedding in the old bin, but worms are starting to die- I see grey ones here and there, not moving. I got a funny surprise last time I opened the bin: all the material settled smooth and flat, one single seedling sprung up from hamster litter dead center
I've stacked the new bin atop the old, with fresh wetted cardboard bedding and thawed out food in there. Left it alone for two days, not wanting to disturb the worms too much. Checked on it yesterday- already there were worms in the new bedding, and when I looked through areas of the bin away from the food spot, found more worms coming up through the lower bin holes, just like they're supposed to. 
Not sure how long it will take them all to migrate, but I'll keep checking every few days. In the meantime, leacheate continues to drip into the tray a bit, I'm just wiping it up and squeezing out into the fishwater bucket for plants.

12 October 2014

the plants

in my aquarium seem to be slowly improving. At least they are all still putting out new leaves at a steady rate. I went a little more conservative with the Flourish this week, after water change. Gave the 20 gallon aquarium four drops, the ten gallon two. There is not much hair algae now, but still black spots on the foliage that does not rub off. I don't know if this is a stubborn algae or marks on the leaves indicate deficiency. Since giving the plant food and root tabs, the yellow leaves have turned green again new foliage has better, healthy green color, so I still think I'm in the right direction. The rotalia all is growing new pale green leaves, longer than before. When the tank lights are out, they look like stars in the dimness:
If the lower leaves on these stems never green up, eventually I think I will pin them down, cut when the tops root, trim off to grow anew from the original roots... I didn't realize I had a few pieces of vallisneria left in here- they are growing more now as well!
Still the aponogeton keeps putting out new shoots, but the foliage seems to loose vigor as soon as it gets a certain size. Either I need to just be patient and let it recover (all the smaller ones are slowly getting bigger) or gradually increase the plant food- or adjust the light so curb algae...
I keep looking back at old photos and thinking it was all looking better in the beginning. Before I moved fish and driftwood in and out, before I changed the light source and back again, before the ich and salt. I can't figure out if the plants would have declined and come back anyways, from adjusting to my tank, or if I've done things all wrong.

11 October 2014

the worms

I have stopped feeding them. Once or twice a week now I open the bin, the contents are always settled down. I thought when I stopped feeding it would dry out, but no. It drips a bit into the tray but not stinky so I trust it is safe to use this leachate diluted into my old fish water for the plants. I dig my hands deep into the bin to loosen the material and turn what's in the bottom up to the top, to keep it aerate and from getting too soggy. Fluffed up again, it fills the bin completely. It's getting almost too heavy for me to lift now.
The worms still look great, good numbers of them, very squirmy.
I still see bits of bedding in there, once all signs of that are gone I plan to move the worms into clean bedding and harvest the vermicompost. In the meantime to prepare I am saving food bits for them in the freezer, and shredding more cardboard to restart the bin.

10 October 2014


I'm happy with my kuhli loaches. They are looking better- nicer color, and I think they've grown! They're bolder too, coming out at feeding time when it's fresh veggies- I got some decent pictures today when they were looking for bits of peas fallen into the gravel.

Rooting around for bits:
Those in the big tank like to hang out in the stems of crypt near their log.
Two faces peeking out!
I keep thinking that Sammy in the ten-gallon looks larger than the other kuhlis. But the gravel in this tank is smaller size, so the appearance could be deceptive.
He's getting bolder too. But I still think eventually to move him...