I think I will never be enamored with this fish.... . . .
I emptied it this past weekend to shift it over several inches- couldn't lift off the stand otherwise- because of fitting a new set of small bookshelves in the room. It was funny to see the malaya shrimps scuttling around in the last half inch of water as I moved the tank. Still have all four. They are usually hiding in the plants, but I do see them creep out to pick up food that Ruby misses. He misses a lot. He doesn't seem to ever see me, or at least doesn't pay attention to my presence like Pinkie, Oliver and Sam did. He doesn't realize he's getting fed until the item actually drops in front of his face, and then he snaps quick at it like a wild thing. Really the only thing going for him, is I think he's very pretty. But it doesn't seem like a good reason to keep a fish- I don't want one that's just ornamental. My paradise fish is far more engaging.
So- I am finding myself loosing interest in this tank. Never thought it would happen. I decided to experiment on it. Instead of dosing out the individual plant nutrients in powders and micro mixes, I'm using Thrive. I actually bought a bottle of it months ago, but hadn't tried it yet, because I was afraid a change would mess things up. That happens so often. But for the last two weeks now I've been only dosing Thrive in this tank. Guess what- it's so easy. And the plants look fine, if anything they seem better. Java ferns and windelov are greener, rotala has larger, more uniformly shaped leaves, duckweed multiplied so quickly it was piling up around the flow of the sponge filter. I had to scoop out a few more handfuls than usual. I'm continuing the experiment. If it goes well long-term, I might switch to using Thrive on my other tank, as well.