Time for another update.
The tank was moved a couple of months ago, and completely rebuilt with new Tropical soil substrate, instead of the old gravel. Reused most of the plants and roots and so on, but in a slightly different layout. Same Fluval power filter.
The old look:
The new look:
It looked pretty dreadful for a while, with an algae bloom. The cycle wasn't broken, but the change in position, and that dratted Finnex light (I like the light, the auto features and the price, but it has caused havoc with algae) have made it quite difficult to tweak the lighting to the correct level.
In the end I moved 2 nerites back in to keep the glass clean, and got some Amano shrimp (my first ever Amano) to keep on top of it. That and manually removing algae regularly, has helped to settle things down.
Actually, I consider this tank rather a science project. Or is that a botany project? So far, in the last 4 months, I have seen green spot, green dust, black beard algae, stagshorn algae, blue green algae and both brown and green filamentous algae. All at the same time as using Flourish Excel, a little liquid CO2, adjusting the light, and removing the algae manually.
This tank is a chamption aglae grower! haha!
The snails and the shrimp are very happy with this, of course.
I have also got good growth starting on the low plants, and no brown algae growth, so I am seeing that as a win. They will thicken up nicely soon.
There are 2 wood shrimp in the tank, who have gradually changed from dull grey brown to a rather lovely orange. They hang around on the power filter and the betta log filter feeding all day. And they are more than twice the size they were. So I assume they are happy.
There are actually 3 shrimp in this shot.
2 nearly invisible Amanos, walking along the horizontal wood, and a single bigger wood shrimp sitting in the betta log sticking his head out filtering.
I used to have cherry barbs and black neons in here, but have moved them to another tank. Everyone says that harlequin rasboras are good betta companions, so I went out and got 12 purple rasboras (the purple is just a colour variant on harlequin).
This has not turned out as well as I had hoped.
Tagawa has to be the most timid better EVER. I would call him a wimp if that wasn't derogatory. He doesn't like the rasboras. They make too much fuss at feeding time, and they hang about in the top third of the water column far more than he would like, which is where he used to rule. So he now spends most of his time scooting and lounging about the bottom, or snuggled behind/against the power filter. He used to take absolutely no notice of the cherry barbs and the black neons, but he doesn't like the rasboras much.
I suspect all this plant-hugging is what is causing the odd split fin. But he loves the plants so much, I am OK with a bit of damage if he gets to play and explore so much.
He is very handsome:
and his colours continue to shift somewhat. The turquiose is brighter, the navy edging has stopped increasing, and the blue is speckling into the red now. He has been with me nearly 6 months, grown significantly, and has a lot more tail.
I'm, currently feeding the tank a rough rotation of
Tropical micro pellets
Repashy Soilent Green and Super Green and Bug Pie
King Shrimp high protein
Frozen bloodworms and daphnia