29 July 2016

thirty-eight plans

I want to get more variety of plants for my main tank. I keep thinking of ones to try, from lists and articles of good low-light species. But in spite of the decent growth and greenery in here, there are still problems if I look closely.
Would like to be able to see the blue buces on the log better. They actually seem to be taking on nicer color now.
My biggest crypt wendtii 'tropica' is actually four rosettes clustered together. I'm considering taking one or two individuals out, and shifting the main cluster over to the right, so it is no longer blocking view of the buces. But I'm wondering about its health. In dim light- see above- the colors looks a nice deep green. But in other pictures, it looks quite brown under the tank lights. I don't know if it has a thin film of algae, needs a slightly different nutrient balance to stay greener, is naturally kind of brown (most likely) or just the red in the LEDs makes it look so.
The aponos are really filling up front and center. Much as I love them, I'm starting to think they need to get moved into the background. I have gently pulled up two smallest ones- because I figured they would disturb the substrate least- and replanted by the back wall. The first I pulled slowly all the way out- wow those roots were long. The second one I pulled out just enough to expose about two inches of roots and cut them off. It didn't kick as much mulm into the water column and I'd have had to cut the roots to replant anyways.
Bacopa in here is starting to look pretty. It's two-thirds the height of the tank now. I'm starting to think maybe I will trim and spread it, and cut back on the thicket of elodea in the corner to make room...
I'd like to try more crypts in here- still don't know the name of this one.
(The kuhlis always make me nervous when I see them draped motionless over something like this. I start thinking one is dead. But they are just resting.)
There's a baby crypt coming up! just in front of the kuhli's tail-
Thinking of smaller varieties with thin leaves that look like grass. I'm wondering if I can grow some anubias nana petite in the shade of the bigger crypt wendtii. I like the look of bolbitis heudeloti (african water fern) and hygrophilia pinnatifida but read conflicting reports on how they do in non-c02 tanks. I've found another apono variety- aponogeton capuronii which just looks stunning, but not sure I have room for it. And that's just the start of the running list I have compiled, mostly from reading stuff on plantedtank.net.

But I think I need to stick with what I have for a while, and get things tweaked precisely to nix the thread algae and BBA that keeps cropping up here and there. It seems to be mostly on older buce leaves, now, which I am slowly removing one by one.

Filter was still not quite right- yesterday I noticed a trickle coming down the spillway, and this morning it was a steady little stream. So during maintenance I turned it off and pulled the media out again- no clogs. Lifted out all the bio-cubes and had a thought. There's ridges in the bottom of the HOB box, both sides of the panel, maybe they have a purpose. Smaller bio-cubes settle down between them. I took them all out and replaced with larger, ring-shaped ceramics. (Half were already those type anyway). Put it all back together and voilá! No more overspill. Not even the smallest amount. I forgot to replace the loop of fishing line that held the sponge and poly batting onto the panel, but it doesn't seem to matter- the flow holds them in place. Very pleased. Fishes are playing again.

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