Ben's new digs.
i was getting tired of some of the shabby plants in Ben's tank, and it really needed a deep cleaning. So yesterday I ran up to my favorite LFS in Erie PA. where I knew I could find the right plants to replace the ones that needed replaced.
I found background plants that were although bunch plants. They had 8-10 thick stems and an established root ball. I got 2 really nice bunches. I also found some Tube plants 2 different kinds of Ribbon plants. One white ribbon and the other golden ribbon. They came 3 plants to a tube and I could mix them in with the ferns, and Anubis that were already in the tank and didn't have to be replaced.
Got home late afternoon, and spent the rest of that afternoon tearing down, and cleaning Ben's tank. (something he really didn't like) Ben is not one for change or anything out of place in his home and would let me know of his dislike. (OH Well)
After a few hours of deep cleaning and remodeling here's what it looks like now.
That looks great!
How long will it take him to forgive you?
Those white and green stripey plants you have in the foreground are a variety of dracaena, I believe.
I have had them in the past, and they always looked great for a while, but slowly rotted from the base upwards.
Then recently (on one of my random interweb rambles) I saw mention of them and a way to keep them looking good when immersed.
Will see if I can find the links again.
Here you go - apparently the trick is to try and get it so that the top can grow up out of the water.
When I eventually have my paludarium (in the distant fantasy future), it is one of my must have options, because it looks so lovely.
Ben is back to being Ben again. (I think I scared him good yesterday when My wife and I left early for Pittsburgh PA. ) I fed him before we left for the second time that morning (first feeding is at 6:00 am then 12:00 noon, then 3:00 pm and once again before I turn the light out around 6:00 pm. ) We didn't get home until 9:30 pm last night so he was scared I wasn't going to feed him any more. When We got home I did feed him and waited until he was full before saying good night and turning the light out. This morning he was back to his old self. LOL (amazing what being off schedule will do)
He is happy now and likes the exploration faze of this new look. He is also starting to patrol his tank also.
As for the ribbon plants I knew they were not completely aquatic. And as soon as they get to the surface I'll lower the water level a little and leave them grow out. I'll put a 2 inch wide piece of Plexiglas over the front top and hope the snails don't escape. Ben has never tried to jump out so I don't think he will cause a problem. And if I have to replace them in a few months, at the price of $6.00 US It's well worth it for the looks of the tank.
Ben has taken to laying on the top leaf of the one in the front and just watching me at the desk. He's now back pesting one of the two snails I have left and making sure it does it's job right. I'm going to have to get a clip that will hold lettuces so the snails will have something to eat. These wafers just aren't cutting it. and they don't eat off of them, they just make a mess of the tank.
My nerites seem to love the King Shrimp food I put in for the wood shrimp. They race the shrimp to the spot, and then clean up any leftovers. But I have no idea if apple snails would be the same. Are they purely vegetarian?
Tagawa only eats from the surface (he doesn't even catch sinking betta food) so he has never shown any interest in food on the substrate.
Kham on the other hand seems to prefer to eat sinking food or pick it up off the substrate. If I was putting shrimp food in his tank, I would have to hide it somewhere that only the snails and shrimp would find.
Aren't they odd in their little indeosyncracies?
Ben eats the Omega One Betta Buffet flakes, and only from the surface. It's funny to watch him eat the flakes . He will attack them when you first put them in, and then he waits until they circle around the tank, and come back to him. He does finish most everything you put in that way. It's like he knows if he stays still they will come to him (Now that's lazy) :grin2:
They all have their ways, and any interruption does seem to upset them.
I'm being forced to use my wife's turkey baster to clean up the wafers. However I did not tell her about the use. So this morning after I used it, and cleaned it I made the mistake of leaving it on the drain board to dry. That's when she saw it out, :surprise: Now what would your first question be if that were you? :twisted: Yep you guest right. especially when I told her what I did with it. :wink3: You thought I had kicked a baby. My response was, (But I washed it really good, Whats wrong.) (It didn't fly well.) Back to the dog house for me. :laugh: Her response was you'll get me another one NOW.
Could be a good thing, Maybe she'll leave me a lone, and not ask dumb questions next time. :laugh:
Well Ben is back to being Ben. Happy little Gus. Since cleaning and complete tear down I have been really checking the water parameters. I really thought I would have to cycle the tank again. When I put the new Azoo Mignon 150 on the tank I had placed old filter media from the other filter in. And then a day later the 4-1 filter media came from Azoo. I took out all the old media and filled the space with the 4-1 media. The first day I had a high reading of ammonia which spiked at 0.2. and the nitrite was raised. The nitrate was within the range of 0-10 so no big deal there. I did a 25% water change and tested again in 24 hours. The ammonia and nitrite dropped to 0, the nitrate was at 5. I tested every day since and have done 2 25% water changes this week just to be sure. The cycle seems to be back on track and all readings have been 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 5 nitrate. (it must be the filter media.) In all the years I've been fish keeping I have never seen a cycle restart like it had never been broken. The readings are those of an established tank. Maybe the use of the old plants had something to do with it. (I don't Know)
I do notice a slight algae bloom starting also. (the snails will be pleased) I also noticed the water a little cloudy with a bacteria bloom, but then again I expected that with the complete cleaning that was done.
I started the new setup with using Prime and dosing the double dose required the first day and I still have 1 more day of dosing. Looks like the bacteria colony started and is growing nicely.
Or this whole restart and cycle restart was just Dumb luck on my part. (NOOOOOOOO it doesn't work that way.)
Second time in two weeks.
Because the aluminum plants I put in Ben's tank two weeks ago didn't do very well I had to change the plants out and take out all the dead leaves. Plus the fact the larger three Java ferns started to die out. I was able to save some of the baby's from them. So I went out and bought new plants again. (1) medium Amazon sword, (2) medium bunches of Temple Scarlet, (1) very Lush Hedge Green Bunch with nice root system already. (2) medium narrow leaf Java Ferns. (1) medium Asian water fern (1) Argentine sword. I was able to continue to use the Golden and White Ribbon plants. They seem to be holding up well. so this is what it once again looks like.
As you can see Ben is patrolling his tank and loves to hide and rest in the scarlet, and goes to over watch in the ribbon plants. It didn't take him long this time to get over being ticked. Only about 1/2 hour before he was back to his old self.
wow its beautiful!
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