I haven’t written an update about my aquarium in quite a while, so here’s one I recently posted at Aquaria Central, a great site for tropical fish hobbyists.
Sad to say, the famed Rocky T. Betta went to the bubblenest in the sky on June 13th (yes, Friday the 13th). He developed a case of fin rot, and I think I caught it too late. The antibiotics cured it on his fins, but he never recovered: I think the infection had gone internal. I was very sad when he died, as he had a good personality and I had only had him for about three months. In essence, I feel like I was at fault here.
Oh, well. Live and learn, and other cliches. I’ll just have to give the next one better care. (And, no, he won’t be named Rocky II! )
For a few days, the japonica shrimp that shared the tank had it all to themselves. One of the four died and, in what must be a hidden ritual of the Shrimp Faith, the other three ate their fallen brother. (And, boy, did one fight me when I tried to remove the body!)
This last week I added a school of five panda cories: very cute! Sadly one died (I’m saying that a lot lately, it seems), but I think he was in bad shape from the time we came back from the store. The other four are OK so far, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Tomorrow, I plan to get two more. I think the tank can support 6 pandas and a (to be acquired later) betta.
Some of you might recall from earlier entries that I was battling water chemistry, since I had stupidly made the water way too soft and thus PH-unstable. After Rocky’s death, I decided to really work on it. As of last weekend, using small doses of baking soda I had raised the KH to 7 and the PH to 7.4. The latter was higher than I wanted, but the KH was just right. That was just before adding the cories, and I haven’t tested it since. I’ll be curious to see what the readings are tomorrow morning.
Also, I seem at last to be winning my battle with algae. Both green thread and staghorn algae had become a real problem. My pretty planted tank looked like crap. (Maybe Rocky died of embarrassment?) So, I changed my fertilizer treatment to all Seachem, all the time: Flourish, Potassium, Nitrogen, and Trace. Also, on the advice of someone at The Planted Tank, I doubled the daily dosage of Excel and the dosage of Nitrogen. After two weeks, there’s been real progress. While there’s still a bit of thread algae, the staghorn has receded by at least 80%. A centerpiece Java Fern that had been badly infested is almost clear. Thankfully, none of the tank inhabitants have shown any distress from the overdosing. But, after a CO2 unit I ordered from Big Al’s arrives next week, I’ll cut back on the Excel.
This adventure with algae has been a good learning experience. When I set up my planned 40g tank later this summer, I definitely will use dry fertilizers. Seachem’s good, but I can see the expenses adding up.
That’s all for now!