25 May 2017

one less and many more

The female swordtail Witchy Fish in my window tank, died sunday night. She'd been rather inactive for several days, laying on the bottom and not coming up to feed... I guess it was her time.  I was not sure how long her body had been in there overnight so did a 30% wc after the small burial (under the forsythia).
Fabio swims with the cherry barbs now... That same day I moved three of the male cherry barbs out of QT into the window tank, and tuesday I moved the last two over, so I could put some new serpae tetras (destined for the 38 gal) into the QT (while it still maintained the cycle).
Now the window tank is fully stocked- and the cherry barbs seem to really like it in here. When I was floating the males in a plastic bag to equal temperature, they weren't stressed or nervous or pale at all. They were darting at the sides to get out, and wagging their pectorals eagerly at the females! There was a lot of initial chasing, flirting and spawning going on.
There were so many baby windelov ferns growing on tips of older foliage, I finally plucked them all off. Some from the betta tank, too. A good dozen were just large enough to fasten down, so I started another windelov stone. Two views of it.
The rest are still too small- I have them floating in a tiny plastic cup, to grow a bit bigger. These are still on the tips of an old leaf,
and I was surprised to find some very tiny ones growing at intervals along those feeder roots the java ferns put out. I didn't know they could grown plantlets off the root hairs! You can just see a few top and bottom of this picture.
Here's the new little windelov stone, in the tank-
I rearranged the hornwort stems a bit to make a space for it, front left.
The regular java fern bits that I fastened onto rocks a while back, some of them came loose and the ones left are really starting to grow out. They're situated just under the filter box.
The java fern 'red' across the back wall, older leaves are starting to decay away, newer ones are growing up- the brighter green.
I removed the arrowhead cuttings. They just weren't doing well. Pothos is thriving though, and the root mass from the cuttings is substatial enough now that it kind of wedges itself into the corner and I don't have to find a place to set it down when taking the lid off (still just a sheet of plastic from an old storage tote), it more or less stays in place.
The tank regularly has two 'looks'. Usually it's like this, now- I have a backdrop of dark gray felt over cardboard, and the window curtains held open, so bright ambient light comes in through the top but not the back of the tank. Hornworts do great with this as long as they're in the center or near front of the tank, java ferns seem okay in the back. On cloudy days, I keep the curtains closed and lift the backdrop off instead, so then the whole tank looks bright and airy and the java ferns get a good amount of light. (This is actually more because on cloudy days I prefer to keep the curtains closed if we have lights on in the front room, but it seems to work out well for the plants, too.) There is still no sign of algae aside from some diatoms, which are easily managed. Subwassertang remains healthy so far, I've added a few more bits of it (but not sure how well it will do when temps drop later in the year). Anacharis (elodea) always faltered in here before, but now the few stem pieces I have are actually growing- so I might add more when the thicket in the 38 needs a trim. Perhaps it is doing better now because with the added fish load, there are more nutrients in the water for the plants. I haven't checked nitrates in a while, it will be interesting to see where they are at in a week.

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