The striped kuhlis would not come to the feeding station, but while the barbs were focused on trying to get in, I was able to give them a few pellets under the log on other side of the tank. I saw the skinniest one Snaky Fish eating, which is a big plus. This morning fed all the fishes as normal and he was out eating with the rest again too. Saw him climbing more in plants again yesterday. His behavior says he's feeling much improved!
And while all the fishes were swarming around the food trap, the smallest male cherry barb took advantage of the distraction to mate with a female. They were spawning behind the rotalas, in the thicket of elodea, up amongst the floating watersprite. Usually this little guy is really flirtatious but the bigger males drive him away. I thought this was really funny he got his chance.
The males' fins are ragged- poor water quality because I added root tabs last week? or from sparring. The biggest red male was also the most determined- long after the other barbs gave up trying to reach the food he kept at it, thrasing with all his might at the air holes where he could smell it. Also posturing and keeping the other fish away.
When I'm dong with medicating the tank, going to look closely at the ferts dose, light intensity and feeding routine again. I want to make sure the kuhlis get plenty to eat now, without causing more algae issues from overfeeding. Maybe reducing a bit of ferts or cutting the light slightly can balance that... Also: some of my barbs have pale patches on their skin again. It really shows up when the moonlight is on, the areas show bright white under the blue. I'm afraid it might be some kind of fungus. To treat for that I'd have to catch and put them in QT again... Wondering now if some of my fishkeeping practices are still poor. I have separate buckets and containers just for use on the tanks, white buckets are for new, clean water, orange ones for the wastewater. But I often pluck small plants, bits of subwassertang, out of the orange buckets that got sucked with the siphon, and return them to the tank. Or rinse the filter sponges in the orange buckets. I should probably not do that, or make sure those buckets stay cleaner, bleach them out and rinse regularly. There is probably scum accumulating on the walls from the dirty water that goes in them. I wiped them down today and yeah, the rag was brown.
My filter is making slight grinding noise again. It's louder after restarting when I finished the tank work. Tomorrow I will try greasing the impeller shaft (vaseline).