18 April 2016

big tank

I made notes on my aquariums this recent friday but had no time to post. The week before I had been gone for ten days, so the water change/ferts dose came after a three-day lag. And the fish weren't eating while I was gone, so there was little input from their waste. I don't know if that caused the issues here, or if I just have not got things right still. Maybe I need to dim the light a little more, or maybe they were just lacking something-? It had been five or six weeks since I'd dosed root tabs, and I used to do those every four weeks. I fed them in the substrate this week.
My crypts suddenly all look brownish. I rub a bit of algae off them. Also tufts of BBA appearing on some leaf tips. It was only three or four leaves, so I cut those off.
The vallisneria looks nice here- I pulled out several more babies on runners getting out-of-bounds. But quite a few of those leaves also had nasty little black tufts on their margins, so I pulled those leaves off too. I've read that BBA can show up when nitrates are low and mine were this past week- 5ppm- so I'm hoping that was the issue...
You could see in that prior pic that my smaller, green crypts are doing well- they've had minimal brown algae on a few leaves as well. I still haven't figured out which species variety this is. It has adjusted to my tank much slower than I expected- newer leaves have very short petioles, like my crypt wendtii.
In that same corner, I trimmed out a bunch of older stems from the watersprite thicket that were dying at the base. This doesn't alarm me- overall the plant seems healthy enough, and I even saved a few sprigs that were growing baby plants piggyback, to float. At the base there on the log, can see the smaller buces are doing better now, but the 'selena' looks crummy. Buces just don't seem to do as well in this tank for me, as in the tenner.
I trimmed quite a lot out of the elodea patch, without replanting many stems. I've noticed that some of the growing ends develop nice plumes, and others look stunted, unattractive. Don't know why. Also where I pinch a stem the end turns black, and I don't like seeing the black ends up among the greenery. So a lot of the unattractive ones I pinched down to near the substrate level, where I don't have to see the black cut ends but perhaps it will grow back nicer.
In front of that, the bacopa is starting to have attractive form, even if it is a slow grower.
Aponos are looking nice again. The smaller, younger ones are really starting to catch up to the biggest one. I like this picture because it was a good catch of two of my male barbs.

Other plants not pictured: the subwassertang is doing great. Little bits are starting to poke up through the mesh on the upturned pot. Last downoi plant is finally dead. All the upper leaves disappeared- as if they rotted and fell off, or got eaten? It looked so awful I pulled it out. Most of the ludwigias in here have failed, and the few left are so small I hardly notice them. Java fern windelov is doing pretty good. I'm pleased with rotala indica, it is staying green through the stems, and when they get taller I hope will make a nice backdrop to the crypt wendtii and screen the sponge filter. I cut out half of the hornwort again, removing bottom portions of stems that weren't looking as vibrant anymore.

Mostly I am disgusted with a plant I was so proud and happy to have at first: buce 'dark godzilla'. I was appalled to see when I got back from my trip that its root across the rock looked dark and swollen. Lifted the stone out and yeah, it was all rotten. I broke it away easily, leaving only smaller, newer roots. Maybe that's normal, for the buce to discard the original roots after it's grown new ones in a new conditions? But this one still has tufts of algae coming back on the leaf margins, and now I recognize it is the BBA. I think this plant is the source of my BBA problem. I ruthlessly cut off half its mature leaves, the ones with the worst of the algae. Its newest leaf never grew any of the nasty algae, so I still hope it might recover. But if it keeps coming back I may have to throw that plant away to keep it from recurring in the rest of my tank?

Its neighbor, the buce 'midnight blue', had one small bit of baby plant growing on top of a stem- just a bit of color I tried to capture in a photo once, but it never got much larger. That pice broke off and I moved it into the tenner. I'd be alarmed, but it is also growing a new leaf at normal size, so I think this one is doing okay.

The fishes are all doing well.

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