most of my plants seem to be doing okay- some of the anubias are rather pale, especially the largest one on the driftwood (it just sprouted the first new leaf); this mid-sized barteri in the corner still looks the best
I also found a better way to do my water changes. Traditional vacuum is no good in a tank without real substrate. I got a piece of tubing, attached a rigid pipe on the end long enough to reach the bottom easily, and I can maneuver it into crevices to remove mulm. Rubber-banded a bit of mesh on the end to prevent larger pieces of leaf getting sucked up. Works a charm. Easier with a shorter hose, too.
I had my first alarming accident the week before when tried to do a water change with the regular siphon- it was awkward to say the least. I was looking close at my doings in the tank and jostled the wastewater bucket hard enough that a lot of water sloshed out. It was all over the floor and running under the tank stand and baseboards- I hollered in alarm and my husband came running and got out the shop vac. Now it's kind of funny- a few towels mopped it up and really it was only two gallons of water that had spilled. I was able to wick it out from under the stand with paper towels, but then had to re-level with composite shims because the cedar ones I used got wet and shrank. Yikes. Just a few gallons so alarming, I can't imagine what a real leak or spill would do. We reacted fast, and I am more careful now, and it's easier to do so with a better (in this case handmade) tool for the job.
Final shot: one little java fern that came loose from its hold. I've had to re-tie quite a few plants, actually. Some of the other java ferns have new fiddleheads arising, so I hope they do well in this tank.