10 December 2015

thirty-eight update

Some of these pics are from more than a week ago, which is good in a way- changes are more noticeable. This was last friday's main photo- I didn't take one today as tomorrow is regular maint day and perhaps I will see something to remark on then.
I was a bit discouraged this past week to see my crypts didn't have that nice dark green that was so pleasing, but looking rather brown.
Unfortunately I'd made several changes at once, so it's hard to pin down the cause: I had altered the photoperiod yet again (bumped it back up a half hour), turned down the stream of air bubbles (having noticed tank looked just fine if not improved when the small corner sponge filter was out of there altogether, being in use for QT) and refrained from dosing macros or micros, gave just potassium and iron via Leaf Zone instead. But my first thought on seeing the yellowing growth was that it was time for root tabs, I hadn't given those in over four weeks and aponos being a variant of amazon sword are heavy root feeders. So this past friday I put root tabs in.

Bam. My biggest apono is really going now. This is what it looked like two weeks ago:
and last week:
and now, I find myself stopping to just stare in the tank when I'm walking by, it is becoming a beautiful thing again. Even viewed from the ends, the apono stands out and its young followers are quickly catching up.
Even in this photo- I took it to note how the vallisneria keeps sending determined shoots out. It didn't get much taller in the past week or two, but the pieces I put in the tenner were runners I snipped out, and already it's sending another new one to the front corner. But look how broad and lovely the main apono shows itself in the reflection off the glass! (on the right)
There are still some laggards here- all the rotala stems across the back I cut down once again because so dismal with algae and decay, have not grown back visibly at all. The watersprite is doing poorly, which surprised me at first. Then I noticed I have an awful one in here again- black beard algae. One tuft on the driftwood and a ton of them sprouting on the prefilter sponge. Which I am going to take out and thoroughly clean tomorrow. If I can. These both point to one thing, though: low nitrates. And it was, last week, the lowest I'd ever seen in this tank- a five ppm! Tells me I need to add more fish to poop in here, or keep dosing macros at least. But I figured the root tabs in there this past week would boost the nitrates and it did. Will check tomorrow what is needed.

One last note: I was just thinking how nice this corner of the tank is beginning to look, with its variety of plant colors and leaf shapes. I feel like it's finally starting to come together.

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