The other day, midweek, I noticed more fine particles than normal, loose in the water column of my main tank. Thought back and pretty sure it's been five weeks or longer since I rinsed media in the canister. Plus looked like Sassy had a few small sores on the skin, so cleaner water would help.
My two new serpaes in the tenner- the smaller one I call Spit still tends to have very bright red around the eyes when it goes pale (occurs when the lights are on- from stress?) I wondered for a day if it had septicemia. Tested the water, 0.25 ammonia. Probably a mini cycle happening since I added the two fish. Thought a bit more media from the main would help. So I opened up the canister filter on the 38- yeah, it had lots of dark mulm. I rinsed half the sponges and poured out the dirty water from the bottom, but left the other parts to clean next time.
I also took out one of the smaller pieces of fine poly media, to fit inside the sponge filter in the tenner, as extra filtration and boosting the bacteria colony. So far these bright coppery fishes seem fine... they are even growing back their fins. I don't have a recent pic (my camera just died needs recharging) but the larger Ziggy, its anal fin used to be split and that is healed completely. I was afraid of course, they would beat each other up in confinement like has happened to me before. They do keep flaring and angling their bodies broadside to each other in dominance displays. But either the full planting, or the abundance of food, or just the better conditions overall in this tank to any QT setup I've made, keeps them from feeling they have to attack each other too much. Or I'm just lucky so far.
I am giving them small feedings two or three times a day, trying to keep them well-fed and encourage fast healing and growth. They especially love the gold pearls, and have readily eaten everything- even an offering of aphids and another of small caterpillars.