23 December 2015

cutting light

I don't think I was amiss in putting two more snails in the tenner; I haven't seen the tomato nerite in there move in several days and I think that one might be getting old (they only live a year or two).  I have been looking back on older images and posts, realized how truly awful my 20L was for a very long time, and then it was so lovely, and so striking with the black background (too striking, I prefer a more muted backdrop now), and such nice healthy greens just before the move. It was better with less light. Almost makes me want to go back to using T8 bulbs, instead of these fancy LEDs. I decided to cut the light coming into my tenner, because I remembered how nice and clean my anubias used to be. And the skull never had black smudges of algae all over it before, and the glass didn't used to get so gritty with BSA.

Less light. I took the extra plastic panel off the sliding top and used it to block some light from side end, instead.
Nicer to have the sliding lid unobstructed, too. I cut some plastic (recycled packaging from some item) into narrow strips just wider than the LED panel and taped them over it. It's already got a thin plastic pane there, this doubles and triples that. Packing tape over the whole thing and onto the black of the frame. An extra layer or two of plastic and tape on the left side above the anubias. That should cut some light significantly. I also put a sheet of white cardboard (recycled side of a box) over the back of the tank.
Doesn't look very different, but I do hope it will improve things. I'm still dosing dry ferts (macros) and liquid micros on this tank, because it usually has very low nitrates as so little goes in via fish food- Oliver eats so little, all the snails and otocinclus feed off naturally growing stuff in there!
I wonder about Oliver's overall health, now. He's always eaten great, looked fine, active enough. Aside from occasional cloudy eye, he's never been sick. Never had any fin rot. (The gray mottled oto looks better this morning after that water change- pale-maybe-fungus patches on him gone, tail still a bit ragged but I hope that heals up quickly). But he's also never made a bubble nest, not once. So is he content as I've always thought? Is he stressed at sharing a tank, in ways I can't discern? Or maybe he's just not interested in nest-building, never felt the urge. But his face is turning gray now, loosing color under the chin. My best guess he's at least two and a half years old.

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