Fish are wonderful pets. They don’t damage your furniture or floors (unless in the truly unfortunate instance of Catastrophic Containment Failure, which thankfully is quite rare) and automatic feeders means you can essentially spend an entire month traveling and do a few water changes in between trips on the fish-only tank. The planted tank just got a few top-ups, and the stem plants took care of the rest! However, as I just pulled an entire two-gallon bucket’s worth of stem plant out of that tank, I’m going to be doing proper water changes tomorrow. The H. difformis had formed a three-inch-thick mat on the top of the water, making the rest of the tank quite dark (and interfering with water circulation), so it had to go. I did rescue a few stems of fresh growth to place back as floaters for the baby guppies – I have some adolescent guppies now, showing color, as well as some teeny ones. I think I will allow the surface growth, despite its not being “artistic,” since the fish like it and the plants beneath are mostly shade-dwelling anubias anyway. The grasslike plant is still straggling along in its corner; hopefully the extra light will help.
I do want to try Vallisneria in the cichlid tank again – it was doing quite well until I forgot to refill the auto feeder and the fish decided that “green = food” and ripped it to shreds. Getting it, on the other hand, may prove difficult – I went to PetSmart looking for it, but the local store has switched from offering immersed plants to emersed-growth packaged plants: while this is definitely a “step up” in terms of professionalism in aquaria, it seems that vals don’t take well to being shrink-wrapped and stored in a tiny box on a shelf, unlike many other aquatic plants, because there wasn’t a single one there despite the vastly expanded species variety now on offer. (Heh.) And the anubias, java fern, and amazon swords I’ve tried in that tank simply can’t handle the conditions, and die off, no doubt aided by nibbling fish. The vals were actually growing a little thicket, though. I miss them. A trip across town to the local non-chain fish store is definitely required!
No pics, because I am teh lazy and uploading them to post is a tiresome pain, sorry. Maybe after I do four hours of overdue algae-scrubbing off the glass tomorrow I’ll be in the mood to show off my work!