Today was the first time I cleaned my new filter. The fine filter pad (last stop before the tank) was very dirty. I rinsed that one out thoroughly, gently rinsed the coarse blue pad, left the rest alone. It was easier to do than I'd expected, and I managed to bend that one clip more or less back into shape. A big plus of this new filter setup: I'm loosing hardly any water to evaporation anymore. Used to have to top off a half gallon or so midweek, but now there's no need. Still a large gap cut out of the plastic skirt of the lid, but I've covered it with a piece of clear plastic and it's doing the job. Small downside is that it's no longer easy to lift out the intake tube for rinsing. I don't want to undo the snug fit the intake hose has onto the elbow of the intake pipe, and the way I've sewn the coarse sponge onto the slotted prefilter it might be tricky to get that off/on the pipe. This week I just picked the largest bits of plant debris off the sponge with tweezers, when cleaning. The shrimps do feed off that area constantly, but I don't want a lot of plant debris building up.
I'm really pleased with the new arrangement I have for tethering hornwort stems in place. Clipped onto the braided fishing line, it's easy to slide the individual stems back and forth when I'm working up there. Getting the clips on/off the line is a bit tricky, I just have to do it carefully and maybe with a little practice it will become easier. There's a lot more space for stems now. Last week with trimming I added four more clips to the row, this week I added another six. I think that might be the max- there's now over twenty individual stems on the line.
I found out what a tough, undemanding plant subwassertang is. Last week one bit got siphoned up when I was cleaning the tenner upstairs. Not having a free container to put the piece in, I dropped it into the fish pitcher which held some newly conditioned tapwater I hadn't used. Meant to add it to my growout subwassertang jar but I forgot about it completely when putting stuff away. For storage during the week I have that fish pitcher inside the clean white fish bucket, under a table. With a lid on it. So I doubt much light got in there, through two opaque sides. I was surprised when I got out the pitcher for use today, to find a nice green bit of subwassertang floating in there. No algae, no melting, it looked perfectly healthy. And it had absolutely no nutrients all week! Just plain (conditioned) tapwater.
Another female cherry barb has a piece missing from her tail this morning. Not as tidy as the other one, but right from the center of it again. I am really suspicious the amano shrimps are attacking them at night when the fishes sleep?