05 October 2015


So now my tank is full of green. Wow, this stuff gave the tank a visual punch. Even though it looks really disorganized right now.
I can see why people hate it though- it was a pain getting it into the tank. Sheds needles all over the place. (I was aware of that characteristic beforehand). I rinsed it in a bucket of tapwater to dislodge some pond snails (inevitable I'm going to get some of those now, a dip would probably hurt this plant) and then twice in buckets of conditioned water to inspect all the stems, rinse off more loose needles, and generally sort it out. My intention was to weigh down individual stems so I could have it looking planted throughout the tank, without actually rooting it into the gravel, because I intend to remove most, if not all of it later. (I want it in there to knock out the algae and give my other plants a growing advantage.)

I achieved that with some stems you see on the right there, but dang it was hard to do. The largest pebbles I had were too small and the stems break easily, so attaching ends to little rocks with tiny rubber bands didn't work so well. I finally gave up and stuffed most of the remaining stems of it into an aquatic plant pot (more like a plastic basket) which is that big mass on the left. I have two suction cups with little ring clips and I put a few stems into those, anchored low on the back wall. Those bunches look pretty, but can't really admire them with all the other stuff in front. And then I just threw the remaining short stems in to float on the surface.
I like the way it looks, but I'm going to get rid of half of it as soon as I can. If I can't find another aquarist to come get some, I'll just dry it out and feed to the worm bin.
Although it's not exactly what I want, and it does have its downsides, there is one thing: it shows me what I want to achieve. A tank full of lush, green, full growth. My established plants (not) aren't near that yet. It was putting in this vivid, healthy green that made me realize once again how poorly they are doing. The rotala and aponos look very brown/yellow next to the bold hornwort. Just last week I was thinking my rotala was looking green again, and now it doesn't. I think it was the filter mishap- when I opened up the tank to take apart the filter tube I had to set aside the light strip for a while, and then pulling out the sponge prefilter kicked a lot of debris into the water which settled on the fine rotala leaves too. Blocking out light to them. It might have been enough light reduction on that one day, that those leaves, already unhealthy, diminished yet again... I hope they bounce back still but if not I'll replant the tops (which still look relatively ok).

The fish sure are enthusiastic about the hornwort. They are darting all around and picking through it with lively action. I like to see that.

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