28 August 2016


Over the past two weeks I've done a bit of rearranging in my main tank. Last week I took out the buce log, trimmed off all the oldest, algae-infested leaves (BBA is mostly gone now, not showing up anywhere else) and cut off the near end of it so I could rotate it a bit and bring it closer to the front, out from behind the clump of crypt wendtii. While I was at it thinned out some vallisneria in the corner, and untied all the watersprite from driftwood anchors. That wasn't working. I've gone back to pegging them into the substrate until they can root themselves. But can't find my plastic strips (and I haven't been buying milk in plastic jugs lately) so I clustered all the watersprite together, broke a cheap wooden chopstick nearly in half and used that to pin them down.

This week I moved forward all the hygro and ludwigias, uprooted the crypt wendtii that's in the background and took it from the basket to plant into the substrate, and moved the last three big aponogeton crispus into the background.
It doesn't look a whole lot different. But I like it better so far. I knew that uprooting some plants would spike the nitrates (even though I kept a hose ready and siphoned out for the water change each time I pulled a plant up, to remove as much of the released mulm and debris as I could) so I dosed lighter on the ferts this week. Even so, there's lots of that fine, almost-translucent algae on the surface of many leaves now, it's like sparse, very fine fur if you look closely. Also more thread algae growing in the watersprite and rotalas, I groomed them again.
But other algae have kept at bay, and the green spot and black marks that show up on older crypt leaves when that plant is hungry are dissipating. I noticed finally that the biggest crypt was looking brown again, then kind of bronzed and purplish all over. Gave it some root tabs and now it is recovering. I don't know why I always forget to put the tabs in soon enough, for the heavy root feeders.
One plant I'm really pleased with lately is the bacopa caroliniana. It's nearly reached the ceiling and looking very pretty. Upper leaves are larger than the lower ones- I suppose because they get more light? Rotala indica I did have to trim some stems of it this week, because they were at the surface. That felt like an accomplishment.
I am not sure how to make the plants look nice together, now- the aponos really have the appearance of a column in the center of the tank that rises up and seems to spread out across the top where hornwort matches the paler green color. I'm not sure yet if I like that.

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