22 May 2016

thirty-eight green

I am starting to feel like I actually reached the balance in my main aquarium. Plants are growing well, algae is minimal and I've even found a better way to keep the hornwort where I want it.
We had a birthday in our house recently, and the clip holding the helium balloons together was different from ones I'd seen before. It's a flat plastic square that folds over on itself, and the hinge part is just wide enough to slide a stem of plant through. Just wide enough for the internodal spacing, too. I cut a slit into the length of some airline tubing, and attached it to the top back wall of the tank at the water line with suction cups. I did have to use rubber bands to hold the airline to the suction cups at a few points, because they'd been stretched to grasp driftwood twigs before (which have all been removed).
I went online and bought a bag of the balloon clips. I really like this new system. It's so much easier to remove one clip, snap it open, reposition further up the hornwort stem, snap shut again and slide back onto the line of tubing when I need to trim back the base of the stems. And unobtrusive too.
Most of my plants seem to be growing better, now. Watersprite has reached the ceiling for the first time in here.
Rotala is getting taller than the prefilter sponge, finally.
Crypt wendtii looks healthier. You can tell by its change of shape- leaves standing more upright on longer petioles- that the light level is lower again now.
The blue hue of bucephalandras is showing through other plants again, here seen from side/above angle. There's even a few teensy java ferns sprouting on the log where bits of rhizome got left behind, and the fissidens moss seems to be taking hold. I had to pull a few more vallisneria that were getting out-of-bounds.
Elodea corner filling in- every week I trim the tops of a few of these.
Most of all I am loving the aponogeton crispus. Seen with clear space behind them (side view of the tank) how beautifully the light passes through their semi-translucent leaves. I just can't get the best picture of that yet.
This one used to be among the smallest!
Newest thing in the tank- I moved over my last otocinclus. Oliver has been chasing him a lot more. Even if he didn't get hurt I think it's stressful for the oto.
He is already looking alert and active, nibbling over leaf surfaces for algae. In these pics his tail getting buffeted to the side from filter flow. I once again removed the baffle, thinking the oto will prefer stronger flow. I've been told they need more oxygenated water.

But there's one problem I hadn't forseen. Cherry barbs are pestering the oto. They keep nipping at the spots on its tail base and ends of the fins. I hope once they realize the other fish's spots aren't food items they will leave him alone! Otherwise I guess this tank isn't a good place for him either.

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