05 May 2021

I have pricked out

my basil seedlings into larger pots for the season- two sweet basil, three purple amaretto, three mrihani and one lemon basil. Did the same with my thyme and summer savory- except oops, I hadn't marked the seedling pots and think I mixed some of them together.
Also moved into pots to grow more, the asters. I'm pleased they finally grew for me, but are still so small!
My one salad burnet has grown a bit. I'm still debating in my head, whether to plant this one in the ground or not.
Feeling bad for my cardinal climbers. Not only are they winding all over each other, but some are starting to flower. I could trim them back a bit- have a week to go before plant out date- but really, ought to have waited a month to start them! Well, here's a mental note for next year.
Still disappointed none of my sown wonderberry (aka sunberry) seeds grew. I checked several times in the garden bed where the plant was last year, to see if any self-seeded. Plenty of berries had fallen, but I haven't found a single sunberry seedling yet. Also, none of the artemesia (wormwood) grew- for me or my teenager (who is using one garden bed for his herbs this year). So I just bought one at the nursery. Pics soon! 

04 May 2021

yard and garden update

Already some of the tokyo bekana are bolting, and the tatsoi. The seed pods of older tokyo bek are getting fatter, I pulled most of the tatsoi but left three that are still shorter rosettes. Maybe if I save seed from those, my tatsoi will last a tad longer in the garden next spring. Sugar snap peas are flowering, so is the arugula (which we ate only twice, ha) and the purple clematis!
Over in the perennial bed, one of the columbines I grew up from seed last year, is blooming now. Pinkish.
Most of the transplanted ostrich ferns are okay- 
and here are two of the strawberry begonias
next to the 'chocolate' joe pye weed.
My rhodies on the back fence are starting to flower-
and the older rose of sharons have grown twice as much. It looks clear through the fence behind them, because it is. My neighbors have cleared small trees and brush from most of their yard, making it all lawn right up to the edge. I suppose they like open spaces, or maybe are afraid of ticks (good reason). And here I'm trying to fill my yard with plants, ha.

angel tank rearranged

slightly- put java ferns up on top of the large driftwood pieces,
and tied anubias on the smaller pieces down on the tank floor-
Brought in here more bits of bolbitis fern- they already have new tiny fronds unfurling- 
and of course the biggest change is all these twisty vallisneria I got- Miss Beautiful seems to like the addition of a lot more vertical plants!
I pulled out some discontented crypts and planted their space fully with the new vals. In another spot I simply sunk the vals down between two larger driftwood pieces, their roots are still clinging to some substrate from prior tank, so they stay in place without actually being planted. While I put together another mesh planter box.

03 May 2021

twisty in the 10

New vallisneria planted in the center of my 10gal- between the fake skull and the driftwood piece. Space is a lot fuller now!
I cleaned up more algaed lowered leaves off buces, and planted one bit of buce 'isabella' on the driftwood- you can just see it in the back there. Removed a lot of windelov fern from the wood because it's just not doing great in here, and put a few of them in the 55- as the regular java fern is taking off maybe this will too.
Most of a full tank shot: 
Baby guppies again. Feeding them to the angel.

the shrimp bowl

got a bit of plant added- parrot's feather from the 33L
and pieces of small buces that weren't doing well in the other tanks (after I cut the algae-spotted leaves off)
I trimmed and re-tied buce 'selena' where it was trailing off this rock
which I just realized looks rather like a potato in there
On the other side, anubias is still the focal point


However I have new thoughts about the bowl- because I just got a second one! Found exact same 1.5 gallon at a thrift shop yesterday, and now I'm imagining how I could rearrange a select group of plants in each . . . with just a pair of shrimps per. That seems to continue well here, while two amanos remain in the 10gal with the guppies.

02 May 2021

55 progress

A while back I made some adjustments to the tank again- put plastic sheeting on the LED as the light seemed too intense- more algae spots had been showing up. It's always hard to tell but things do seem improved now- for one, the hornwort is growing like crazy, and forming a very nice security wall for my angelfish
Crypt balansae next to it is looking great
Upper leaves on the buces remain clear of algae so far
Java ferns look better and have new growth
Crypt retrospiralis also grown- and quite curvy!
My giant vals americana have been unhappy- lots of leaves turning yellow, then brown, then eaten by the snails. I think from the change I made to the light. I've been watching for new leaves- yes there are some- and two new shoots on runners! which I clipped and replanted into the end of the basket, where there's a bare spot.
Leopard vals also continue to do well- much better than jungle val ever did for me- and the angelfish seems to appreciate them

33L a bit of new

I never thought I would have this plant: Madagascar lace.
It naturally has these gaps in the tissue cells that make it look so pretty and delicate. I've read it can be a bit tricky to keep- if not good water circulation, the gaps tend to get clogged with detritus. Also it does better in cooler water but then naturally goes through a dormant period every year with dieback. Also it might all die back from the transplant shock so must have patience to see if it will live for me.
It was a total surprise, in this box packed with plants that a friend in the fish club gave me- from someone who is moving to another state and was thus taking down her tanks. Most of the package was some kind of spiral vallisneria- that's all gone into other tanks because need stable temperatures- but also this one madagascar lace, and one I can't identify. I think it's some kind of sword- it has a familiar rosette growth. Narrow leaves, though.
There were lots of snails. Brown ramshorns- like the one in pic above- and plenty of pond snails, with their cute little 'horns'.
I moved a few things last maintenance day. My dwarf sword isn't doing well. I think it does poorly every winter and then revives with warmer months- but also maybe it needs better light. I moved it from the front back to the center of the tank.
I cut and replanted tops of a few buces. Also moved some small ones into the shrimp bowl. And pulled out two small pale anemic-looking plants- this one that's been growing up against the front glass, and another I found a bit further back. The runners I slowly tugged out of the substrate led straight back to the first crypt moehlmanii- I think they're doing so poorly because too much competition from other plants nearby.
Here's quick attempt at a full tank shot- 
The white clouds are spawning again. Lots of excited activity low among the plants, quivering fins and males rising through the water column displaying side-by-side. I am not making any effort to raise fry this time with fine foods and frequent water changes. Found one week-old fry the other day, and promptly caught it to feed my angelfish. Simply because a dozen white clouds already pushes the limit of stocking for this tank. 

My second generation of the minnows are all adult size now, I can't tell them apart from the original three parents. The two from the third generation are quickly maturing. They are both out regularly feeding with the adults in the main part of water column, now. The larger of the two is already half adult size, and the smaller one is a third of adult size. I tried for a few pics- young fish to the left here, adult male displaying lower right
Young fish in the center, adults blur above

01 May 2021

the limelights

I noticed in the past that my 'limelight' coleus seem a bit more tender to the cold- so I hadn't yet started hardening them off for outdoor life. Put them in shade under the deck today, will set out in larger pots later on in the week.

30 April 2021

I planted some stuff

perennials from the swap, mostly. In various edges of the yard, the yarrow, artemesia, spiderwort, strawberry begonia, blanket flower (with red/orange coleus moved next to it), ostrich ferns, and creeping jenny- divided into bits to make a little row of it. Some were looking very sad and I don't know if they'll make it- it rains tonight so I hope that helps. I was in too much of a hurry to take pictures, before a thunderstorm passed over. I did take clippings of the creeping jenny and put in a jar of tank water, see if they convert and root can plant some in the aquariums.
Also momentarily brought my fig trees in the house to repot- slightly larger- they barely gained an inch or two all round. These are the largest pots I have. Might be time to buy some nice very large planters for them.