30 June 2017

tank cleaning

I had surgery on my right hand recently, to remove a lump of what apparently was scar tissue, just under the skin of my middle finger, that was growing and growing. It all went well, but recovery is tedious. I'm not allowed to do any gardening or put my hand in dishwater much less the aquariums, to avoid infection while healing. And so many small tasks like sweeping, brushing your teeth or tying your shoes become difficult when your dominant hand is disabled.... but it's gradually getting easier day by day, and I get the stitches out this coming monday.
So my aquariums have kind of been on vacation, it's been two weeks now without any water changes or fert dosing, all I've done is occasionally remove (with a tool) a dead leaf that floats to the surface. I can't quite resist feeding the fishes, but I did reduce their rations by more than half. Instead of feeding the the usual once or twice a day six days a week, I'm only feeding once a day, every other day. It seems to agree with everyone just fine.

However today for the heck of it I did a few water tests, on the window tank and the main. I was surprised to find that although it looks healthiest of the three, showing no signs of plant decay or mulm buildup -except for a few older leaves on the java fern 'red' that dramatically bleached white and died off this week- that the window tank had higher nitrates, at 35 or 40ppm. (I probably overestimated how much the little cories would eat and have been over feeding. A new crop of tiny baby malaysian trumpet snails kinda confirms that. So must cut back a bit more!)

So I did a 50% wc today. With a plastic glove on my injured hand, and doing most things left-handed. It took twice as long as usual but actually with less spills, as I did all the work slower, with more care. The only real awkward part was using the siphon hose, backwards from the normal handling. I also rinsed out the filter media, and while I was at it removed the ceramic rings that are in there. Thinking it will slow the flow a bit- it does cause Fabio to struggle at the surface and later on when I get paradise fish, they like gentle flow. It did work to slow up a bit- I fed flake afterward and Fabio had an easier time chasing down his bites. Also with future paradise fish in mind, I shifted the plastic makeshift lid over to completely cover the top and cut two holes in it, back corner, for the pothos stems to go through. It makes it more inconvenient to take the lid off, but paradise fish are known jumpers so I did that.

Samblu's tank is the one really needs a cleaning, but I will do that tomorrow, and then the main tank following day. One at a time, right now.

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