Tending to the Farm

March 22nd, 2009

Before I went to Seattle, the 40G had started to show signs of something going wrong. This is the aquarium with worm casting underneath the substrate, but also the aquarium that I moved from another part of my house a few months back. Really, ever since that move, I’ve been dealing with a ton of particles coating a lot of the plants. I thought I could make it go away with regular water changes and extra vacuuming, but that didn’t seem to work. Compounding the situation, I suspected that the Bluespotted Sunfish or Banded Killifish that were in the tank might have been doing a little bit of digging around.

Ranalisma rostrata with BBA

I think the problem stemmed from not rinsing out the top-layer of the substrate when I moved the tank. Anyone who’s ever used ADA Aquasoil before knows that after awhile, parts of the substrate can degrade into mud. I should have washed away this mud when I did the move. Instead, the mud kept getting uprooted into the water column, coating the plants, and causing algae.

BGA on Leaves - Ugh!

So, in effect, that’s what I spent several hours yesterday doing. I removed nearly all of the plants from the tank. Moved the fish into my new 54G native-themed aquarium, and proceeded to empty and fill the aquarium several times in order to vacuum all of the substrate.

40G - Replanted

I can only hope that now I’m all set to continue getting great growth from this tank. The other benefit of me doing this is that I was able to rearrange all of the plants in the tank, thin some of them out, and free up a lot of room for more plants. Collectoritis here I come!

4 Responses to “Tending to the Farm”

  1. Darren Says:

    Hi, I will be going to Bangkok this weekend. I am planning to get some plants from the Weekend Market after reading your previous entries. My question here is, will the airport customs allow me to bring the plants out? Or I need to register or any other process in order for me to bring out the plants? Thank you!

  2. guitarfish Says:

    Darren, to legally import plants, you usually need a minimum of a phytosanitary certificate, and all of the plants must be clean, free of soil, etc… Unfortunately, I’ve never imported plants myself, so you’ll have to search around to find the proper procedures.

  3. Mark F. Says:

    I’m wondering if maybe your Bluespotted Sunfish are gearing up to build nests (which most native sunfish species do by digging circles in the substrate) … mating season is still at least a couple months away – but, in the controlled environment of an aquarium, they could conceivably think that they’re living in an endless late Spring/early Summer. Hopefully moving them into their new (presumably unheated) digs will resolve the matter.

  4. guitarfish Says:

    Mark, I was wondering that too, but I haven’t actually seen any circles. I’ve seen more of the killies diving to the substrate to hid. The tank they’re in now probably still isn’t that cool since I’m not running a chiller. One member recommended keeping them in the fridge over the winter, but I never could convince my wife on that one!