Well today good news is that all my livestock is doing fine. Shrimps are okay in their little setup- they are not moving around much or eating- however I know they alive as I see their feelers waving around. Two trumpet snails I dropped in there moved in on the food quicker than the shrimps. I offer two large flakes (saw a shrimp eating those) and a bit of minced blanched lettuce yesterday. This morning a small broken piece of algae wafer- one too small to offer the fishes as someone would likely try to hog it and choke himself. I tested their water this morning to make sure the little bin had not gone into a cycle- ammonia zero, nitrites zero so all good. I guess they are just distressed at the change or slowed down by the cold- no heater on it and room temp dropped to 65° last night.
Lots of activity in my 38 this morning. I soaked dried bloodworms in garlic juice for the fishes and a third of an algae wafer for the kuhlis. Dropped the wafer piece into the thicket and then fed the others at surface- lots of cherry barbs tried to get into the thicket which gave more chance for my serpaes to get some bloodworms- they still hang back a bit at feeding time. But then they got super excited over the food I guess- dashing around displaying to each other and a few flirtatious in the corner looked like spawning activity again. The dominance displays were really something to see- if that's what it was- two fish darting at each other circling while angling their bodies steeply towards each other and buffeting tight waves with their tails and spread fins. All this while spiraling upwards in tight circling motion- very vigorous. Then they spring apart, chase across the tank, dash back to this corner and spar again.
The cherry barbs are chasing around and spawning too- it's funny to see the smallest male Little Bit just as energetic in sparring and courting females. I guess he must be a runt with stunted growth, had him several years now and he never did grow full size.
Bad news is that my canister filter has a leak. I am very glad that I got that tupperware bin to sit the canister in. Sat down in front of the tank today to watch the serpaes' display and thought the filter murmur sounded a bit different, so I opened the door of the cabinet to look. Good thing I did. It was sitting in two or three inches of water. I shut it down to feel all the hoses and fittings, leak seems to be coming from the bottom fitting where the intake pipe goes into the body of the filter. I have been going over possible issues on the forum- what could have caused the leak and how I can temporarily stop it and if I can get a replacement part or make a permanent fix- but no way to know for sure until I dismantle/empty the entire filter to inspect. Meanwhile the leak is fairly slow- in a few hours it has not even filled the bin halfway again, so I am just keeping an eye on it and periodically sponging out the water.
Fish sure are happy- at least once now I have added half a gallon fresh water back into the tank to replaced what leaked out, and probably will have to do that several times before done here. The one serpae tetra had a bump on its lip that seems to be gone. I have noticed since getting the newer ones that the older trio have slightly bulging eyes and the one with a bit of cloudy eye they protrude so much I'd say that fish has popeye. I have checked water parameters again thinking since the snail died maybe an ammonia spike? but there is no detectable ammonia or nitrites. So the fish had this condition before I got it, not sure what caused it or if it is reversible at this point, but waiting to try a cure until I'm done with the round of parasite treatment.