07/22/20 - Plants, Finally

I’ve had lots of issues with algae growth on plants, particularly the few store-bought ones, and the plants look translucent and terrible in spite of two light bars for 12 hours a day. Potassium levels were fine, I suspected one issue might be that I simply didn’t have enough plant density and there were too many nutrients in the water for the algae to eat. I was about to shrug emoji on the planted tank but I decided to try one more time with lake plants, which seem much heartier and are of course free so it’s easy for me to fully stock the tank. So I thoroughly cleaned the tank, tossed the extant plants except the relatively new smartweed, and tossed in a nerite snail.

My biofilter CRASHED, I think because in addition to the thorough cleaning I cycled out an old cartridge batting and left the tank dependant on the new batting I’d added a few weeks ago, but I dosed with Seachem Prime and it leveled out surprisingly quickly.

I seem to remember the waterweed being in full force around this time last year, but this year it is only now starting to grow up to the surface in certain pockets. I was able to harvest quite a bit to add to my tank. It does not look nearly as lush as what I saw last year but I’m hoping later in August I will have better stuff to harvest.

The first time I harvested I was just like PLANTS and grabbed handfuls which is um dumb, the next day I was a bit smarter about it and harvested longer lengths more carefully from the bottom. My protocol has been to rinse in tap water, “quarantine” in standing tap water that is changed for a few days, and then before I install it I do a hydrogen peroxide dip (just splash a tiny bit into a container full of fresh tapwater) for about 5 minutes. SO FAR this seems to do the trick, I have not seen any hitchhikers.

I picked up some nice, I think, hornwort that I have been quarantining but I’d like to move it over today. Jury’s still out as to whether the light I have is adequate but the goldfish like playing in the weeds and nibbling at them, and I can easily harvest a gallon bag each time I go out, so it will do for now.

I want more snails! The fish store has “mystery snails” which is always a bit of a flag, I’m trying to see if I can find some online.