31 January 2017

main tank pics

I installed my new filter on the thirty-eight.
I am very happy with how streamlined it is in the tank- no more bulk on the back showing, the intake is narrower and the spraybar fades into the background. I wrapped the thin piece of sponge that had been blocking the HOB outflow around my intake tube, so it won't suck up shrimps. It just barely fit.

It took some fiddling to get the right position with the spraybar. At first I had it directed straight out across the tank, and flow was too strong. All the fishes were struggling against it, shrimps getting blown around some. Then I pointed it angled upwards, so it broke the water surface an inch or two out. But I felt like that was creating too much surface turbulence- maybe it would gas off too much C02? Finally I twisted it around to point straight backwards, so the spray hits the wall at close quarters. That makes a nice gentle ripple. The plants still sway slightly around the tank, but the fishes are all relaxed- lively even. I think they appreciate the increased filtration already!
No more bubbles in the corner- I don't think I need it anymore. A bit nervous taking out so much sponge material from the tank itself- but I squeezed them all strongly into the filter, and put all the flat pieces of media and ceramic rings from the HOB in the canister. No ammonia spikes, not even much increased nitrates with the change. I do have an irrational worry that one of those hoses is going to leak- from initially having one not pinched by the screw piece properly- but it's been humming away nicely for several days now without issues.

My youngest is fairly astute- she walked by the tank last night and probably noticed that it was much quieter- no splashing sound from the bio-wheel turning- and saw the HOB parts stacked in a bucket waiting to get put away. She said in obvious alarm: "Mommy, your tank isn't running!" She's only five, but apparently she's picked up on how important it is for the aquarium filter to be working! I showed her the new one under the stand. She was duly impressed.
I think this side pic is kind of funny because light from the nearby window I was trying to block w/a curtain shows in such a way it looks like it's beaming up onto the male fish. You can see here how much skinnier this intake tube is than the old one- and I got a thin enough piece of sponge around it that I didn't have to put an elbow piece on to keep the intake off the wall. Shrimps can't get into the intake. I suppose a baby trumpet snail could, except there's no way for them to reach it unless they crawl up a crypt leaf that's touching.

You can maybe see from that full-tank shot that I redid the driftwood corner. Nervous at pulling so many large plants out of the substrate, but I got a siphon hose and used it while I pulled each one slowly, so it sucked up a large part of the mulm and substrate ferts that got released. Here's a shot of that short end-
I undid the new java fern and the bolbitis from my log and swapped their positions so bolbitis is in the front where I can see it, and the taller java fern is on the back end. Replacing it in the tank, I moved it further back so the java fern end is nearly against the wall. Leaving a gap behind its elbow where the filter intake now is in the corner. I replanted the crypt retrospiralis in that corner. Placed the crypt wilisii 'lucens' forward of those, between the log and the tank wall, and put the crypt balansae on the other end of the log on the tank back wall. Rhizome pieces that I hope will sprout new crypts are rubber banded onto pebbles so they will stay sunk, and put near their respective species.

I also moved all my little anubias nana 'petite' clumps into the far background, behind the apono crispus row under the heater. I like that arrangement better. Now- not to touch anything for a long time! Just let the plants grow and grow.

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