|Couldn't wait until sunset to take a photo.|
Interestingly, the high light has actually changed some of my plants, narrowing the leaves of my amazon swords. This was predicted, but I did not expect it to go on so quickly.
Speaking in general, this tank has been having some growing pains. That sand there has turned out to be an artificial produce of macerated limestone and sandstone - the included limestone has been a strong buffering agent that has slowly, but steadily, been raising my pH. To counteract this, I have to dose heavily with acidifiers and step up my water change regiment - the filter's back to filtering over granulated peat, I'm going through tropical extracts like crazy. The result is dark water that the fish absolutely love, but no real change in pH.
|Odessa Barb and Denison's Torpedo Barb frolic near the Mystery Plant.|
As you know, however, I'm moving. The city I'm moving to has a very different tapwater - it's generally harder and therefore generally more alkaline than one would expect from the city water here where I live - it's much closer to our well water. Now, I can continue to keep my fish the way I have been - aggressively treating and pre-conditioning my water to drive the pH down. If I do that, I should probably replace my substrate entirely, preferably with another sand, in which case, such a tedious replacement only might help. The new sand could be full of carbonates, which would only exacerbate the problem, especially if I'm dealing with the harder, more alkaline water to start with. Now, it's possible (with a small army of buckets) to precondition my water-change water by steeping leaf litter or dried ketapang in it, to make it more acidic and softer, but that brings out the tedium and there likely won't be the space for it - not to mention that standing water is a great way to breed fruit flies.
|Odessa gets an honour guard from most of the Denisonii barbs.|
|Need to hide that wiring better...|
Having said that, this tank is doing very well. It killed my nerite snails somehow (probably a crummy acclimation, as snails are difficult to acclimate properly in my experience), but other than that, I've not lost a single fish except the beta - even the notoriously finnicky cardinal tetras are still in their full complement.
|The Betta in question, and not a flattering photo. The white is more|
pronounced in reality.
Also, the majority of my plants will be up for grabs, once I decide which ones to keep, in particular cuttings of the Egeria Densa and select clones of my Amazon Swords.