07 July 2017


So I went ahead with it. Deep-cleaned the substrate with gravel vac and did a bit of rescape on the left side, where I removed the driftwood. It was nasty.  Clouds and clouds of black mulm came out, the substrate had an ugly grey look, and I found guess what, tons of broken bits of trumpet snail shells. So yeah, they are all dead. Good news is my sun thorn nerite showed up again, and it's alive. I saved the buces off the driftwood, they're now planted in the substrate. Also the small baby anubias barteri is now on a stone- the original rhizome piece it had grown from rotted away to mush.  Fissidens a loss- all brown and black with algae I couldn't save it. Underside of the wood had thick areas of white fungus and strings of black mold, ugh. Probably from the dead snails...

I had to refill the tank twice and siphon out to get it clean enough, and then did two or three fifty percent wc. Ammonia spiked to 2ppm. After the extra wcs still too high. Samblu and the nerite snail spent the day in one of my plastic fish bins, with a handful of substrate (rinsed well in tank water) the sponge filter running and the java fern skull cave to hide under. After cleaning half the gravel bed in the tank, I put the skull piece back in to figure out where to replant everything, and the filter too, to help clear the water column. So dropped a fake plant into the bin to give the betta some shelter meanwhile, and he had all the spirodela polyrhiza floaters on top, too. He didn't seem too stressed, ate a small katydid and two leafhoppers I caught outside (the yard plants got lots of fish water that day!)

But at nightfall I tested water parameters again- the tank very lean on nitrates (less than 5ppm) but still high ammonia. The bin had 0.5 ammonia so I decided to leave Samblu in there overnight, where he is getting less poison. Worried a bit because no circulation or heater but it is very warm here at least 74 maybe 75 degrees in the upstairs of our house (trying to conserve ac use) I get sweaty if I sleep with a sheet on! And I remind myself that after all, I did keep my first two betas in bowls for a year, and Sam has the bacteria on the ceiling and floor of his temporary digs to help keep ammonia in check. I refrained from feeding him again. He looked fine in the morning. Next day both the tank and the bin had 0.25 ammonia. I kept Sam out and put the nerite back in. Figured if the bacteria colony could deal with the output of the snail, it was done with the mini-cycle. Third day the tank was below 0.25 ammonia and the bin higher at 0.25 so I did a small water change on the tank, redosed the ferts for the plants put the fish back in and now I won't touch it for a week again.

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