31 October 2019

new minnows

Went to the next town over, but the LFS didn't have any white cloud mountain minnows. Visited another chain pet store I hadn't been to before- and was impressed! The aquatics section was very clean, I didn't see any ich or fin rot, only one ailing specimen (sadly, it was an archer fish). Got four white clouds- they are very tiny.
These are the best photos I got on day two of QT, after kneeling for half an hour in front of the tank. They aren't shy, but flit about so quick!
I'm giving them the same foods as the guppy fry- they waggle their tails with appreciate over the first bites. Searching for food in the leaf litter-
I think their colors are just great. Brief flare:

half a QT

My 20H tank has been at a friend's house several months; I brought it home again yesterday and decided to move into it the three black skirt tetras with all their stuff out of the bin. Only put ten gallons water in because I don't think the furniture it's sitting on would hold 20 safely. It's a lot bigger footprint than the bin so still plenty roomy for the fishes.
 Tetras were in here a few days-
then after I was sure the QT remained cycled, I moved them into their final home the 45, and put a new group of fish in QT (see next post!).

Meanwhile, I kinda cheated with my angelfish tank. I bought several large fake plants. Happened to be at a different pet store and found some the height I need. Angelfish actually looks smaller in the tank now, to scale with the plants! The tall darker strappy leaves behind her are fake silk, the brighter shorter green in front is the crypt balansae- I'm still hoping that will grow out enough but it's so slow. The fakes are placeholders.
(Mostly because the parrot's feather is dying- I pulled it all out yesterday). I also got a plastic 'willow' type fake plant with tons of small leaves- it's in the back left there- it fills the whole center rear of the tank now- my kid thinks it looks very pretty but as soon as I put it in there I didn't like it. Too unruly and busy- I want more grasslike stuff. I thinned it a bit- the foliage is in little bunches that snap onto each other- and put some in the QT (weighted down with glass beads):
At least it will come in handy to make lots of QT cover, if needed.

30 October 2019

shrimps moved

Relocated my shrimp bowl upstairs to the bedroom. Its spot was needed by QT tank, and I kind of  miss having a tank in my room. Easiest tank move ever- I just picked the whole thing up, and carried it. Didn't need to remove any water or livestock!
Upstairs is a few degrees warmer in winter, which will be good for the shrimps too. It's always fun to see them crawling around upsidedown on the duckweed root hairs! I think this jar must be rather old- the glass is thick and a bit hazy.
Not sure how the light exposure here compares to the spot it was in before- it's indirect bright light as well but could be different enough- have to wait and see how the plants do.
For a while it was completely no tech (the miniature sponge filter being used in QT). Everything was still alive, however the shrimps very lethargic. They'd wave a feeler, pick at food- but as if in slow motion. So I put in an airstone, with a valve to keep the flow gentle (and it's quiet enough doesn't disturb my sleep).
Immediately the shrimps became lively and active again. Here's one under an anubias leaf!
Another on the pink buce rock-
Both in the same shot-
Another benefit of moving the shrimp jar- all the other tanks are on the same floor but this one, so I'm less likely to overfeed, more likely to leave them to pick at algae and debris. Which is better overall for the jar, I think.

tiny teardowns

Got tired again of keeping glass boxes on the windowsill. Fished out all the bits of subwassertang today and dropped into the shrimp bowl, along with the baby ramshorn snails. Poured out the green water into the guppy fry box- they went nuts darting after copepods. Put the bits of java fern and baby windelovs into the QT- you can see they weren't doing so great:
so that's that.

29 October 2019

wild youngn's

Out tromping around the yard checking on things, cleaning up leaves again. Found a young white oak:
and several more little hollies:
and another ivy plant in a different part of the yard. This one near a tree I ought to pull it.
I think this could be wild ginger- ?
Not sure- the larger leaves have got beat up by foot traffic and the rake

28 October 2019

strawb begonia

my little strawberry begonia has grown some
Raking leaves came across a small plant in the yard looks very similar- but the leaves a slightly diff shape
and I'm pretty sure it's another one of these- the weeds I kind of like
and still can't name. Their older leaves get lobed:

small cantaloupe

Here's my little volunteer cantaloupe
inside looks nice
but it didn't really taste good. Very bland. Next time I get a volunteer, might just pull it out.

27 October 2019

weird leaf

cut some beet leaf chard to cook up in an egg dish
and found a siamese twin leaf-
this one too-
is it a common abnormality? or something in the water I give the plants- have seen this on my schefflera and my bird's-nest fern before, too.

parrot's feather in the 45

isn't going to work out
I knew it was likely to do this- because it's a plant that likes to surface.
I've kept it in even though it's dying off because the stems' height obviously gives the fish some sense of security. Am considering some different tall plants- might attempt to grow vals again, heard that vallisneria rubra can be more vigorous, or aponogeton longiplumulosus, or crypt spiralis. Other alternative is to just get some grasslike silk plants, but I haven't been able to find any right height. And that kind of feels like giving up, too.

26 October 2019

oak leaves

gathered oak leaves from my yard
mostly pin but also some white oak-
more than I need for my own tanks-
going to see if any shrimp keepers or planted tankers with blackwater setups want some leaves, on the forum

25 October 2019

figgy figs

Still a few little figs each week- even as the plant has moved indoors.
I admit I'm not too fond of them. They're not sweet. My husband really likes them, I eat one now and then just because I know they're healthy for me.

24 October 2019

shrimp bowl rescape

I took the tiny sponge filter out of my shrimp bowl to drop in the tetras' QT which is unfortunately still in mini-cycle. And then while I was at it took all the plants out (dropping the shrimps in a container with all the floaters and some subwassertang meanwhile) and rearranged everything.
My idea was to have the largest plants grouped center on and around rocks, with subwassertang tucked in a ring around the edges, so that which ever way I rotate the bowl (to keep the plants in there from leaning all one direction towards the window) there's something interesting as focal point.
One side has the mermaid weed and parrot's feather
The biggest rock has buce on it-
Some new tiny leaves grew! but look a bit pale. I need to cut off that lower leaf- looks like BBA started to edge
I think the anubias has grown quite a lot-
Replanting the rotala stems made them so short they kinda got lost in the subwassertang-
Final touch was tucking a few leaves in
I was a bit concerned how the shrimps would do without a filter running- and they hid for the first few hours after reintroduction so it's hard to tell. But now are out and about again, look just fine. Some of the plants were even pearling.
I feel like the jar has a more wild look to it now
I'm not perfectly happy with it though. I'd rather see the smaller stems more, and I think the extra rock and sponge pieces take up too much space- I kept them in there to avoid loosing bacteria and drop into a cycle. Might rescape again and pull more things out, but I'll wait and see how the parrot's feather and mermaid weed do long term, first . . .