March 2003

March 2003


March 2003

Ok so now is four days later and I am ready to take the covering off the tank... Well that didn't work!

The green water is still there a bit ah well lets just keep up the water changes and keep track of readings and keep the green water to a minimum. I figure as I am looking into the tank at all the plants I have in there that I may as well go out and get some more fast growing ones. About 60 - 70% of the plants right now are slow or medium growers.

Not only that, I was now getting hit with BGA :( On a couple of occasions I had to remove some of the infected substrate from the tnak and replaced with new sand again. Again another reason why I wanted faster growing plants. The main areas of infection were on the left hand side of the tank specifically on top of the riverbank where the Acorus was planted. Another thing to mention is the fact that this side of the tank was the furthest from the outlet of the filter. Some of the other areas in the tank that had the BGA were areas that had a slow current also. Mmmmmmmmm wonder if I should install a powerhead into the tank in an area that would get rid of that.

I was also not happy with one of the plants I had purchased for the set-up. It was called Acorus gramineus var. pusillus, otherwise known as a Japanese Rush. It was growing wat too slow and didn't quite look right as what I had in mind for the top of the rivermank on the left hand side of the tnak. I wanted a different looking plant.

Off I went to the LFS and I purchased a few plants. Not all of them were fast growers but I also wanted some plants that I thought would also end up looking nice in the tank and that later on I could substitute the slow growers with. I picked up some Bacopa (Water Hyssop), some Crypt's ( No tang so don't know which type they are), some Didiplis Diandra (Water Hedge / Water Purslane, this one I picked up for the top of the riverbank) and finally a plant that was named as Red Ambulia.

This last one mentioned I have been having a hard time trying to find out what it really is or what its Latin name is. After talking with a few plant friends most told me that the name used was an old way of calling the plant. Ambulia is now called Limnophilia. Even with that in hand and looking in all my books and on the net at many pictures none of the ones I saw matched the plant I had. Hopefully someone reading this wouldn't mind sending me an e-mail with some suggestions as to what the plant is.

The plant is a stem plant. Each stem has small whorls of linear leaves that come off of each node ( like little needles ). The color of the plant leaves are a darker green near the base of the stem, lighter green progressing upwards, to a nice orange red at the top of the plant stem. So far I have trimmed it once just to see what would happen. I re planted the off cuts just in case the cut stems did not grow back. So far the cuttings are growing again. The cut stems, which I left in the substrate, are growing side shoots. Above, you can see what the plant looks like ( sorry it is a bit of a fuzzy shot ). Again, if anybody knows what it is please feel free to e-mail me with your thoughts.

I pulled up all the Japanese Rush, sucked up a thin layer of sand and replaced ( BGA again ), and planted the Didiplis Diandra. I planted the Crypt's in a couple of places, near the base of the riverbanks on both sides in shadow and also in front of the tank on the left side. The Red Ambulia I planted in front of the tree root on the left side of the tank, is about 3" in from the front of the tank. The Bacopa I planted in front of the Crypt's in the front corner of the right side of the tank.

Everything was going along ok except for the fact of the green water and the BGA. I kept up with water changes of at least 75% every other day and in some cases every day. The BGA was being held in check so far. The worse for this was again on the riverbank and as mentioned before I have been replacing the sand as I go along. At least the BGA has stopped growing / appearing in any other areas now except for the riverbank. Maybe it is just me looking at the tank all the time, or the water change schedule, but the green water seems to be getting less and less.

One other point of note... I have reduced the light duration levels a bit also, to about 1o hrs a day total. 6 of the T8 tubes are on for the full 10 hrs and the 2 remaining tubes go on for 4 hrs mid day. Hopefully this will help some.

Well lucky me the Crypt's did not melt totally on me after planting, remember this is a newly planted tank and has not had time to settle inyet. I did have a few leaves go on me but all in all they are doing fine :)

In last month's instalment I had mentioned that I had put in some fish. I liked my little shoal of Black Tetras. I liked them so much in the tank that I wanted to get another shoal of Tetras that would counter balance and accentuate the color of the Black Tetras. I decided on picking from two other types of Tetras. Lemon Tetras and Serpae Tetras. I ended up chossing the Lemon Tetras after seeing both in the LFS's tanks. I liked the look of them a lot more and figured they would better suit my tank. So I purchased a small group ( 12 ) and took them home. Half of them were kinda dull colored. Their fins were not colred at all while the other half had very vibrant colors showing. After about 3 days in the tank though, the ones that were not showing their colors started to show colors. At the end of a week's time all were very vibrant and all showing great colors in the tank. They ended up being a great pick for the tank and complemented the plants and the Black Tetras wonderfully.

Now if I could just get rid of that green water and the BGA, man and NOW WHAT!... the Windelov Java Fern has that nasty dark algae on it now! Will this never end...


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