I keep getting distracted, and time slips by.
The fish tank is chugging along now. There was a terrible pea soup algae situation which I finally resolved with a very fancy new filter/uv light gadget. Basically all the water passes though a tube with a uv light, and it zaps the single-celled beastie’s dna, and voila, no green water. Apparently it also kills of a wide range of fish pathogens, so it is full of win, but does mean I’m stuck with a filter. The water quality is consistently great although the tank is densely populated, so the plants are definitely doing a great job.
And, surprisingly, all the plants and fishes and snails and shrimp survived the algae overload.
…wait, the shrimp? Yes, I have five Ghost Shrimp. They are really weird, and I’m not sure I like them. I have to work very hard not to think cockroaches when I watch them. But if I can avoid the eek-an-insect reaction, they are different from the fishes, and cool to watch. Mostly they hide under one of the rocks, but sometimes I’ll see them ghosting delicately about in the plants.
Still no fry from the Golden Minnows. Maybe they have attempted something I missed. I think, though, that the Neon Tetras are likely to scarf up any baby fishes that appear, so if I wasn’t right on top of a hatching I doubt I’d see the fry. After all, it took me weeks to finally see the shrimp. I put them in the tank and they vanished. There is a forest of greenery in there at this point and anything could be in there. Heck, for a day or two I was wondering whether I’d somehow lost the two-inch disc-shaped gouramis, but it turns out they are just really well camouflaged by the weeds.
What else? The Siamese Algae Eaters have doubled in size. They just focus on each other, fortunately, so it doesn’t matter that they are big guys. They swim differently than the other fish do, hovering in place like humming birds, their fins whirling away. And they are faster than anything else in the tank, so they add a bit of flash. I’m becoming fond of them
I also have lots and lots of snails, and I need them. Keeping all the plants going has a side effect of encouraging algae growth on many surfaces. This isn’t the stuff that floats in the water, so the filter doesn’t effect it. Most of them are Nerite snails. They are largish – about 3/4 of an inch in diameter – and colorful, and best of all, they won’t reproduce in fresh water. So total win. Some are brown and red and reminiscent of pottery, and some are yellow and black like little bumble bees. I also have some ramshead snails that, unfortunately, do reproduce. But since I think they are the ones doing the lion’s share of the algae cleaning, I don’t regret them. But I do fish out the ones I see on a constant basis. Even so, they reproduce so skillfully, and there are so many hiding places for them, that all I am doing with this is preventing truly exponential population growth. I doubt I could eliminate them all, no matter how many I remove, especially since anything I’d introduce to get rid of them would do in my Nerite snails as well. But mostly I am liking to see them all, Nerites and ramsheads, busily at work polishing the tank walls and plants, so that’s okay.
The corys are thriving. They hang about in little packs, rooting among the gravel and plants. They have lots of sheltered areas under rocks and driftwood and plants, and they sit there in piles. They are also given to swimming around in groups of five to nine or so. It looks fun. The pandas are my favorites, being smaller and more enthusiastic somehow. I also have some albinos. They are larger, and given to uprooting plants. They also seem somehow morose. Pretty, though, against all the green. And there are a dozen ocis as well, vacuuming up algae like mad, and hanging about by their mouths. They have little round stomachs from all the algae, and seem content. They are also given to randomly resting upside down, which is oddly endearing. A bit goofy.
So it is all very busy in there, and – knock on wood – nothing seems about to crash.