Week 5Well my wife's away in New Zealand with her camera this week, so the pics may be a bit light on!
On day 31, I've detected zero ammonia for the first time which means the tank should have fully cycled! Nitrates are still only 2.5ppm so that's a green light to increase stocking levels as far as I'm concerned. I went down to the LFS on day 32 and picked up 6 pearl gouramis which should be really nice with the neons. I'm pretty sure I have 3 males and 3 females. A bit worried the males will bicker a bit, but in a 90 gallon they should be able to escape the worst of it. I'll trim the water sprite soon to create some more floating plants which will make them feel at home.
I'm still keen on a school of cory's and perhaps a pair of Rams or Apistogramma's if I can find them somewhere. Will give the pearl's a month to settle in before I add any other species though.
I was up at my old man's on the weekend and have a bit of tank envy! He's just re-done his 72" as it was suffering old tank syndrome after being up and running for 4 years with a bunch of large barbs as a fish only tank. I couldn't convince him to go dirted, but he's added some laterite to his gravel and he's getting some awesome growth out of his swords and crypts! That's with a T5 bulb he hasn't changed in 4 years either! I'll throw up a few pics when I get the chance. He's going for more of a stream look as his tank is really long but narrow and it's hard to get any depth in the aquascape. I reckon it looks pretty sweet though!
In terms of my plants, I've noticed a few of the leaves on my broad leaved amazon swords (ech. bleheri) are falling apart. They're not yellowing so i'm guessing its not a lack of iron. I think there are a few new leaves coming through though, so I won't panic yet. Possibly just jealous after seeing the growth in dad's 72"!
The otos and SAEs have made short work of that hair algae on my driftwood which seems to have disappeared. After getting rid of the worst of the mushed bacopa and val, they look to be rebounding a bit. The Bacopa is still growing where it hasn't disintegrated and the val looks to be sending out some new leaves, albeit very slowly. My water lettuce have also sent out new plants, so I'll divide them soon to help with the shade for the gouramis.
When I have some more emergent growth with the floating plants, I might up the photoperiod to 8 hours. I've also added another small powerhead to increase the flow. I will remove this powerhead and the internal, once the water has cleared up.
Cloudiness is no longer a major issue. Water isn't crystal clear, but it certainly hasn't got the bacterial bloom I had a while back. It's also got a slight tannin look to it, probably from the driftwood. I quite like it.