20 February 2015

maintenance day

Once again unsure if I'm doing things right. The 10gal looks relatively good- the rate of death in java fern slowing down, moss is taking hold, anubias putting up new leaves. But these looking pale, and on the smaller plant tips curling. I looked it up- could be the light is too high for that plant. Put the spider plant back atop the tank to shade its corner. Since Oliver is pretty much solo now, I do see him out and about more. Downside is that debris collects on the flat anubias leaves again, without small fish picking and gently disrupting surfaces. I've been reading up on miniature catfishes- pygmy and dwarf corydoras can make good betta tankmates in a 10gal. So far corydoras hastatus (tail spot pygmy catfish) seems the best choice, but introducing some will have to wait...
I have moved a few plants around in the 20gal. It stresses the fishes. I turn up the airflow on sponge filter and run it while I'm moving stuff, then do the water change after to take crap out of water column, but afraid either my main filter is off too long, or pulling up a few crypts has released bad gas or ammonia into the water. Pinkie recovers first, the barbs hung around much longer, still and clamped. I worried, but they started to swim around normal about an hour later. Much later the kuhlis seemed to recover and started wiggling around.

(Buster had a mishap last week. Got pulled through the siphon hose in a split second I had turned my head. I felt the resistance as he went through. He flicked his fins about fine in the bucket, but when I returned him to the tank, was clamped for a while. He's okay again now).
I trimmed the crypt roots when pulled up, to encourage more growth (it was only smaller plants). Why do some roots look orange? I still don't know if this is normal. I thought healthy roots are white.
Plan to eventually shift all the rotala to the background and bring the aponos forward. I'm afraid to do it all at once- could easily catch the barbs and Pinkie to house in a bucket while I work, but the kuhlis are another matter. So I'm just rearranging a few each water change day. I've got the left corner more or less how I want it now.
The tank looks rather unbalanced; java fern are still not growing well on the log. Also I've found a few big crypt and apono leaves blackening again, some watersprite turning brown too. Is it because the plants got damanged when I moved them (but I didn't move any watersprite)? because I changed the lid to glass and they're responding to change in the light? or because I had adjusted my ferts- was dosing half the amount of micros last week, to match the lower dose of N03 and KH2P04 as suggested on the forum. I don't know. But the brown watersprite stems looks like it did when plants were starving, so this week I dosed the full amount of micros again, but backed off a little bit on the N03 (nitrates are still near 40ppm, while in the 10gal it's at 20ppm, just where supposed to be).
This sure is a long-term learning process. I wonder if I'll ever get it right.
However the vallisneria doesn't seem to mind anything! A month ago this foreground plant was just a sprig against the glass, now its sending out a little offshoot of its own.


keeley cook said...

You can put aquarium trimmings in the worm bin :-) that's what I do

Jeane said...

Yes, I've been doing that!