We caught him early thank goodness! I couldn't turn the lights off because I'd just finished the CO2 injection and with that much in the water I thought it was better to let the plants do their thing. I did put in a little peroxide to give him some more oxygen, and he bounced back pretty quickly.
A little spring cleaning was in order for Christmas (will add pics later!)
The US Fissidens moss mats were looking a bit rough. US Fissidens you can't just trim, all the charm is in thse pretty little feathered ends. You can pluck it to shorten it, but I didn't have enough to do so, so I took them out instead and respread the moss over the mats. I secured the moss with nylon coated stainless steel beading wire which worked surprisingly well. Here's hoping the mat will look great in a few months, especially with CO2
My Windelov java fern is pupping like crazy. I took the driftwood out for the first time in 6 months and trimmed the pups off and gave the wood a quick rinse. There's a little bit of algae growing on the wood so a quick rub helped dislodge the worst of it. It was also a chance to manually pull off some of the dying hair algae. Man, that stuff really hangs on! The pups were put into a little mesh bag and back into the tank for sale later on.
The Blyxa seems to be happy with the CO2 and is no longer going stalky to get up higher and closer to the light. I'll have to thin it out though as they are now crowding each other as they start to fill out into a nice shape.
The Red Rotala is not happy. I really cut it and the stems are still re-rooting into the gravel. Saw for the first time yesterday new growth, but it's small. I'm seriously considering getting rid of it and replacing with something else, as it has never really been happy in tropical water with lots of melt.
The crypts appear to have decided to be low maintenance. Yay! Nothing needed <3
The flame moss I bought a few weeks ago is siestaing in glass jars in tap water. I had them on the sill of the kitchen but they started to yellow without direct light, so I moved them to the computer room, where they will get a couple of hours of good sunlight. Hopefully this will do the job! I also removed the christmas moss tangled up with my US Fissidens and popped that in its own jar to g
Nigel is doing well. He developed a little fin rot as I was caught out with dirty water leaving it an extra week - nitrates shot up to 80ppm! A 30% change followed by a 50% change the next day. It's been two days and I have to test the water again to see how it's looking. I daresay deep cleaning the gravel and pulling out the driftwood disturbed the substrate a bit. He's otherwise perky and spending him time being charming and staring at you through the glass demanding food! He's still scavenging at the loach's pellet and a bit fat as a result; I'm fresh out of ideas right now as to how to fix that problem, but I'm sure I'll think of something
My three Kuhli loaches are doing well. They are quite relaxed and spend most of their days peeking out from their many hidey holes. They spend a gratifying amount of time in open view, lounging on the moss mats eating their pellet. They are not concerned about Nigel at all any more, even when he hovers over them with his face a few mm away from the pellet, before he has a go at the pellet. It's pretty cute to watch actually, the loaches chomping away, little busy whiskers, and Nigel hovering over the top like some protective mama.
My Christmas present arrived as well; a nano drop checker The CO2 is going swimmingly and this is just a precaution. My water tested as 5 hardness so I'm using that in the drop checker, along with drops from the pH tester in my master test kit This is much cheaper than buying 'special' drop checker solution!
Anyhow Merry Christmas to everyone from Nigel and the crew and lots of love. I'll post some pics later. Sadly Santa didn't bring me a new camera so I'll have to cough up for one myself!
Finally managed to pick up Phil's camera and try to get some reasonable snaps. It's even older than my one, which is saying something!
Current regime for the record:
25 litre tank
8 watt light
CO2 one bubble every 2-3 seconds
CO2 on at 5pm, lights on at 6pm, CO2 off at 9.30pm, lights off at 11.30pm
Liquid fertiliser 3mL three times a week
Flourish trace 1/4 cap twice a week
Iron supplement adding .2 ppm twice a week
Currently treating hair algae with hydrogen peroxide and a syringe - 4mL per day max and done just before lights off
Very little algae, a smidge of green on the glass, hair algae is the main culprit on the plants, nothing else (yet... haha)
Having some issues with excess nitrates hence the increase in ferts above to go with the CO2. Flying by the seat of my pants a little especially because the tank is so small, but seems to be okay so far.
Chippy having a look to see if the coast is clear
The Java fern 'Windelov' mature plant - this is after trimming pups off. Some hair algae, nothing too bad. You can see all the pups in a mesh bag in the background.
Us Fissidens moss mats freshly reseated and secured down with nylon coated stainless steel beading wire onto stainless steel mats
Blyxa Japonica split into lots of little plantlets before CO2 - now they have CO2 they are deepening in colour and starting to 'fluff out' so they'll need to be thinned out
My drop checker nano size, purchased off ebay delivered for around $12 - bargain!
The Fluval 88 CO2 unit - you can just see the lead in hose into the tank; that goes to the diffuser. What you can't see is the bubble counter suction cupped onto the outside of the tank next to the unit. This bottle has lasted a good 2 weeks so far.
and what would a post be without Nigel? Here he is in his usual spot, crowded over the loaches while they snack on their pellet
Thank you and Happy New Year I'm working hard with the plants, very hard I think to start off with such a small tank and there's no way I would have managed without the internet and this forum <3 It's all worth it as Nigel loves his little tank!
I had an a dream last night that my partner bought me an enormous double sided tank - I mean this thing was huge room length but setup like a double sided merchandising stand. Then it was awful because I found Nigel's tank was cooked by a malfunctioning heater
Think I am going to have to get one of those things that cuts out if it malfunctions! I spent the rest of the dream wandering and driving around inspecting people's fish tanks.
Now I'm dreaming about fish. I need an intervention!
Another trim in the tank, nitrates continue to be an issue with very low ammonia traces detectable as well. The algae is trying to bloom and getting more on the tank sides as well. This might be a result of my erratic light cycles, with several days being left on overnight as I fell asleep before it was time to turn them off. Possibly also too much fertiliser.
So I've reduced my fert to twice a week, 2ml. Did a 50% water change. Cleaned the filter and sponges. I also thinned my Blyxa to give a few plants room to bush up.
I had some flame moss I bought that was dying in their jars and put this in to the tank, however it was pretty far gone and was I believe contributing to the nitrate problem as it was on the verge of decay. I also removed my fern pups as more are on the way, and I can't be bothered catering for them all!
A quick snap to see how it is today. I still need to give the US Fissidens another vacuum to clear the detritus off it, scrub more algae off the tank walls and tidy up.
That's called Blyxa Japonica BLF, it's a handsome little plant. It's the same plant as I first put in the tank that looked long and lanky - the difference is they get plenty of light and some CO2 as well, so they are growing into little bushes instead of long lanky stems. With lots of light and good iron, they get a nice red tinge as well!