24 September 2018

angel questions

My angels are still so shy. I don't know if too many kids rapped on the tank while they were little at the fish store, or is it something I have done. Accidentally squeaked my finger on the glass one time, and they fled from me for days after. Took out all the sticks the other day- reasons below- and now they shy away if I raise my hand to put food in. Half the time they are pale like this-
It makes me sad. And now the larger, handsome fish has a bit of gill curl- you can see the edge slightly lifted, light reflecting off it in this pic.
I tested the water- zero ammonia or nitrites but surprised to find 20ppm nitrates. Is it my fault. This past week I was doing 25% wc instead of 33%- and I was a day late with one of them. I thought that would be fine since I was feeding less- they don't seem as hungry anymore- but maybe not. Went back to doing a 33% wc. Also concerned the outer layer of sticks was breaking down- maybe that was adding too much organics to the water? I lifted them out one by one, rubbed the dark mushy layer off, and returned only half to the tank.
So now they don't have as much cover- but I've seen plenty video of angel pairs in completely bare tanks, who are not shy at all. I thought having mine in a secluded hallway would be best for them, but maybe that means when foot traffic does come through, it startles them? If my youngest comes to talk to me in the downstairs hall and starts gesturing with her arms, the fish panic. I sit in front of the tank as often as I can, having my lunch or doing some small task with my hands, can't tell if it helps. In all that time I spent taking photos for this post, my nicest angel only colored up once:
They aren't as eager to eat, now. I thought because not growing as fast. They don't seem to like the brine or mysis shrimps, but still snap quickly at beef heart and bloodworms, and they do like the cichlid flake and hikari bio-gold. Still won't eat NLS pellets unless I crush them first.

I added more plants-
this bit of anubias just drifted up during water change and got stuck in the pothos roots, I thought it was funny so I left it there
I took all the java ferns out of my other tanks and moved them in here. Look nicer already, while the narrow anubias are starting to turn yellow. Maybe I will have to reduce to fewer plant species, the ones that do okay (buces).
I took windelov ferns off the clay arch in the 33, re-tied onto a stone and wedged into a crevice in the driftwood. Curious to see if it prefers this tank just like the java ferns appear to.
And the last change was with sponges. Read in some reviews that the older style Hydro sponge, gray with finer pores, actually holds more of the mulm in it, while it kind of falls out of the newer, coarser black sponges (called 'pro' version). Yeah, mulm always scatters out when I pick them up for rinsing. Realized the Hydro I that I originally got for the betta tank, was that older type, and it's the same width as the two Hydro III's I already have in this tank. The fittings match, so I simply stacked the Hydro I ontop one of the coarse sponges. Want to see if it does hold more crud. I increased the flow through the filters, as well. I can't tell yet if the tank is staying cleaner-
if I do change out sponges (replacements are just a few dollars), and still have this problem with excess mulm even though I'm feeding less, I cleaned up the sticks and the leaves will soon be gone- I guess I'll have to ditch using sponges and put the canister filter on the tank. I don't want my angels to have more problems. Maybe I will find some fake stick decor, that won't break down. Or some tall plants instead.

23 September 2018

Lady's tail

I swear it's still getting longer and longer
In this pic she's holding the caudal fins closed- usual resting position- but you can see the very tip has blue highlight.
Of course, it's still short compared to the glory of Perry's tail
Backlit- see how long his caudal extensions are!
Lady is still larger in body, and duller in color overall, than Perry.
Sometimes I wonder if she remembers her old home at the fish store. Does she miss that larger tank with denser plants and many fish to boss around? or does she prefer the quiet of her own space, and find it exciting to face off with Perry through the wall. Or is that stressful for her, having a conspecific right next door. I'll never know.

33 plant status

My long tank looks kind of sparse, now.
Several days ago I removed the sticks- they appeared to be rotting- and lifted out the mopani wood piece, cleaned off all the browned bolbitis fern. Most of the remaining, healthy fronds were on the ends of the rhizomes, 'walking' off the wood reaching for the tank floor. I trimmed a lot of those, reattached on top of the driftwood. It looks better in person. It reminds me of this picture.
Yes there are new fiddleheads in there- two left of center
Other plants- I am not sure how my crypt cordata is doing. It quit making new leaves, and all the existing ones are starting to melt. Maybe it doesn't like the cold, or perhaps it is still recovering from the hard time- two rescapes and then a few weeks of meds in the tank with fequent water changes had to be rough on them all.
Crypt beckettii is fine- even sprouting more new leaves!
Behind it in this overhead can see the subwassertang looks healthy too, even if its texture is small, and the greenness of bolbitis fronds.
Subwassertang against the front glass
Small new bolbitis fronds on the mesh wall- all that's left on these two rhizome pieces, but I hope it grows back well.
Vallisneria still looks messy. Every time I experimentally tug on a melting leaf to remove it, the whole plant starts to come up. So I leave them to disintegrate on their own, but it's taking a long time...
In the corner behind Perry's filter, crypts becketti petchii and lutea are growing back. I'm thinking of switching this filter out for a hydro sponge, same as I have in the 20H. So much easier to clean.
Crypt on Lady's side- tiny new leaf.
Anubias nana 'petite' does really well in here- lined up behind the crinum.
Which is doing an odd thing- it has three leaves that appear to be fused in center- comes from the base as three leaves, then together, then splits again near the tips- I wonder if they will separate entirely as it grows out?
Windelov ferns are same as always
Ludwigia repens var arcuata hasn't grown much since last trim and replant. The stem pieces I planted of 'hygro species' melted as far as I can tell.
Side angle here shows in reflection- they are green, but bend a lot- either seeking light or shortage of something
Ludwigia palustris is doing okay- melting leaves at base but not nearly as fast as the hygro went
Up top, salvinia appears to have recovered- most of the leaves are green now, I don't see nearly as many deteriorating. But the hornwort has nearly all died off, there's only have one small stem left in here. It was so lovely before I moved the tank over. Will try to replace with pieces from the 20H.
I replaced all the peaky-looking sweet potato vine with new cuttings, and used some of the lime-orange coleus as well. Rooting nicely.
That's the current state of the tank.

22 September 2018

tenner filter change

I bought a larger filter for my betta tank. This gray one is the Hydro I- the old sponge filter is just behind it- you can see the difference in size! and they're both rated for a ten gallon tank. I think the smaller sponge I had just wasn't doing the job
the shrimps were all over it immediately
but I felt it was a bit large for the tank. I thought it was the smallest size of Hydro sponges, then found out there's a mini size too. Looking at replacement sponges online- they all fit onto the same housing piece- I found the mini sponge also works for a prefilter. Which I have- I used it before on the intake in my 38gal. So I pulled out that old prefilter sponge- it's been cleaned- and yes, it fit.
Looks much tidier and is still double or triple the size of the prior sponge- at first I had it sitting on top of the new sponge- can see it a bit in this angle pic-
and then I just set it underneath- will leave it in for a few weeks, let the bacteria transfer. Or just leave it in the background premanently, can always pull it out later to have a seeded sponge ready for a small QT bin if I need it
full tank shot with the Hydro I sponge
and a bit later, with the mini-
Shrimps have suddenly become more active- I'd noticed they were lethargic in the past month, but thought they were just getting old. Maybe they were feeling lack of flow and oxygen.
To my surprise the subwassertang in here is suddenly flourishing- it grew
But java ferns don't look so great. I suppose whatever is better in my tank now for the rotalas- I've been cutting and replanting the nicest stems, gradually cutting and removing the ones doing poorly- and great for my buces- they positively glow- isn't as good conditions for my java ferns. I removed them all from the skull, then took cuttings of my tallest buce 'isabella' and 'blue belle'
and tied them in place
back in the tank
now the buce corner is all one level again- when some of them grow taller again I'll take cuttings for the 45 (that's where the java ferns moved to)
Not surprisingly, my windelov ferns are looking pale, also some of the anubias. But I like so much seeing the buces and rotalas healthier again, I won't mind if I have to move out other plants that are outcompeted in these conditions- or whatever the cause is. I guess it's the different ferts I use now. More nitrogen, maybe not enough iron?
my horned nerite snails are showing wear on their shells, but they're still the first horned nerites I've had, that grew and kept nice spikes
Incidentally, I hardly see limpets in here at all now. I suppose since I moved out the cories, there's not as much food supply. I rarely see a trumpet snail either, although I know there's still a few around.