OK, so time for an update on Valentine and his little 12 inch cube 5 gallon (UK gallon) tank. I will update Kham's latest news elsewhere.
Firstly, the diatoms have been a right pain.
The snail I put in gorged himself on them and then keeled over and died. Which disturbed me tremendously, and I am now very wary of expecting anything to eat a lot of diatoms!
Frequent water changes seemed to help with this.
But as soon as I eased off, I got masses of filamentous brown algae (sorry, no pics of that! lol). So I went back to the overly frequent water changes.
The riccia fluitans flourished, right up until the point that it got covered in filamentous brown algae, and I chucked it. Valentine loved that plant, so I have replaced it with some watersprite cuttings from the big tank, which seem very happy, are growing, and Valentine may even prefer.
I have upgraded the filtration to an oversized HOB by allpondsolutions. Very pleased with it, and Valentine seems to prefer this water flow. It has much more filter media, which is great.
My anubias gracilis nearly died, but has recovered and has sent out several new leaves.
The miniature javas survived the diatoms, but are slow to grow.
The moss is flourishing, although I have to keep pruning the bits that have got covered with the filamentous brown algae.
Don't get me started on the carpeting plants. Have gone through 3 different ones, all supposedly 'easy', and all I can say is that they die easily! The only ones to have hung on are the dwarf sagittarius, which keeps on sending out runners and new sprouts, but as soon as the older plant gets to a certain size, it just seems to melt.
This is where we started:
And this was yesterday:
What a problematic tank! I have now reached the stage where I have some S. repens, some pogostemum erectus, the dwarf sag, and a couple of baby crypts just shoved into the substrate, waiting to see if any survive. If they do, then they will become my carpet plant of choice! haha! Fortunately the tank sits on my work desk, so I can monitor it, and fiddle and tweak regularly. I think that is the main reason I kept the brown filaments from taking over.
I moved two Amano shrimp into the tank a couple of weeks ago, bless 'em. Since then I have only seen one once (spot the invisible shrimp in the middle of the pic?:
and I have seen one shed shell.
They may as well have just disappeared into a black hole, which is challenging in a 12 inch cube!
However, they must be working hard, because things are definitely looking less fuzzy.
I am keeping up with the frequent 25% water changes - nearly every other day - in the hope that this will reduce the nutrients for the algae.
But the biggest issue is, I think the light. It may have been what is causing every problem. It came with the tank, and I don't think it is up to anything more than being a basic desk light. I have a Finnex Stingray on order, and have my fingers crossed that things will actually start growing once it is installed.
As for The Occupant... well, I will let Valentine speak for himself, I think.