Updates updates updates.
Ammonia is slowly dropping, but still not at 0.
I've been slowly adding CO2 Booster and I started adding Flourish Complete with the water change this past Friday.
Friday the plants pearled, but nothing since then.
Nitrates are still way higher than what I'd like.
I'm working on a new filter for the tank. It'll be basically a sump filter, but with the filter next to the tank rather than below it. (I have no access to put the sump container below.)
Here's the sump container next to the main tank, for a size comparison. It will actually be on the other side of the tank. (I'll need to move the tank over next water change.)
And a rough idea of what the filter will be like finished:
There will be sponges in there between the outflow nozzle and the rest of the tank, and the green container will hold the biomedia. The intake of the pump will sit down amongst the media and the top will be covered with filter fiber. It'll end up looking something like this:
And then the water will be pumped back up into the tank. There will be a valve to control how fast the water flows back into the tank, and a DIY spraybar (under the surface).
I'll be getting in some more plants before the filter is finished, so when I'm ready to install it, I think I'm going to cup boyfish and completely re-scape the tank. I'm not entirely sure where I'll put his cave, but I'm thinking of putting the low-light plants (especially crypts and anubias) along the left side of the tank, and the stems in the center, directly under the light. The floating plants don't seem to like this tank, so I'm thinking of getting some black craft mesh and putting that on top of the plastic flanges that are meant to hold the built-in filter. That should provide some barrier for the low-light plants, and a place where boyfish can go to get out of the light.
So, I have two decisions to make. My current light is 14watt 5000k. The only 6500K lights I can find are either 13 watts, or 23watts. My tank's lid can handle up to 25watts (I confirmed with the manufacterer). So... Do I want to upgrade the light again?
Also, do I want to cap the current Eco Complete with sand? Eco Complete, while being the size/shape of gravel and behaving as such, seems to be as light as sand when it comes to cleaning. I haven't been able to clean ANYTHING out of the gravel, and normal cleaning techniques means that the substrate gets sucked out until a large piece wedges itself into the vacuum's valve and blocks the flow. So I'm thinking it might be a good idea to cap it with sand so I can at least get some of the waste out of the tank so it doesn't overwhelm the filter. Also, the Eco Complete seems to be a bit sharp, and boyfish's tail is turning up tatttered. :/ The obvious bite marks are healing without new ones, but the tattered look worries me.