An update is long overdue. Apologies...
Things are going well... the neons continue to thrive and I've bumped their group up to 21. They look fantastic in the tank.
I've planted the tank now - just have to wait for the plants to grow in a bit and the look should be close to complete.
Still struggling with BBA, but I think that I have a handle on it now. I have a few options available to me. Here's how I see it...
#1 - CO2 - this is a tricky spot as the tank will be largely untended over the summer. I'll be able to stop by a few times a week to keep it going and keep it beautiful, but it needs to be largely self-sustaining by then.
- The easy way to increase the CO2, is to increase the bioload. More fish means more CO2. Not that the fish alone can provide the level of CO2 required, but they can help to keep the levels more stable, and stability is the most important thing, I believe.
- The next easiest way is to add a dose of liquid carbon daily. I might even try to set-up some sort of daily drip dose which could work to add the dose without human input. The question is... how does one set that up?
- The more reasonable method would be to add some CO2 via either yeast (don't think I need to get to 30ppm, but just higher levels than I currently have, plus hold the levels more constant than they currently are) or even some pressurized dosing. I honestly have to say that the yeast method actually intrigues me more, because it will enable me a greater challenge to overcome. Just injected CO2 via a pressurized system that's so bland... where's the excitement and the challenge? (Realizing of course that doing yeast on a tank of this scale might be a fool's errand. But, sometimes those are the most fun, especially against all odds! )
#2 - fish - Fish that eat BBA would be a great addition... Interestingly, black mollies are local to Mexico, and as far south as Columbia. That's right Columbia... which means that they are 'native' to South America, and will fit in the biotope. However, I think that they are going to be a short-term solution, until I get the CO2 corrected. The mollys are one of my favorite fish, and were my favorites as a youngster. These guys will be moved to another tank once the BBA is under control, because the water is softer than they would prefer long term. I'd like to give them their preferred water option.
#3 - Lighting... I've moved the light up a bit from about 2 inches above the level of the water, to about 6-8 inches above the water level. The decreased light and the more stable CO2 levels should certainly help with the BBA.
Now for the fun part...
Photo on 11-1-13 at 2.12 PM.jpg 59.59KB
Better shots of plants...
Video from before I added the extra neons to put the group up to 21...