As I shared my journey with my fascination with aquatic flora and fauna in my previous post, I will be sharing with you the updates of my tanks. And today, we will start with the biggest one we have, which is a 2-year-old tank.
This is my main tank. A 40cm x 20cm planted with a variety of Cryptocoryne aquatic plants. We had a lot of experiments until we ended up with what we have now. The light source is a generic Chinese brand LED light which is I think sufficient for the plants. I used a Wi-fi timer to schedule the light to turn on for at least 8 hours to somehow replicate the daylight. I used an Infinity brand Hang-on-Back (HOB) with a built-in surface skimmer which does the job well. I do the cleaning every week to prevent debris from blocking the tubes and the filters. Future plans will be replacing the HOB filter with the canister ones (if the budget permits).
I managed to add a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) CO2 injection, which is made with plastic soda bottles powered with Citric Acid + Baking Soda and sometimes Yeast + Sugar. It usually takes around 2 weeks for the solution to be used up. Although not really needed, CO2 injection makes the plants grow faster and healthier compared to not having one (low-tech). We will be replacing the DIY with the CO2 canisters in the future (not really needed for now).
Few hardscapes were added in the tank to maintain the "minimal" look, but somehow the plants have overgrown. Dragonstone and a few mountain rocks were used. I then added a store-bought substrate for the plants to grow onto. I could have used garden soil but the ones bought in the store are ready to be placed without any preparations.
We used to add a bunch of plants before, but somehow it got dirty to look at so we decided to remove some. We used to add a bunch of Pearlweeds around the dragon stone thinking it will stay short and carpets the area. But instead, it grew 2-3 inches in height covering the mid part. Then, string algae came and attached to every Pearlweed. So we removed it and replanted it to a different tank.
Now, what is left is a type of aquatic plant called Cryptocoryne or Crypt, a fast-growing plant and can reproduce at a faster pace. We only have one plant in the middle part of the tank. And now, it has overgrown and there are lots of small growth. I have added a few mosses, Java Moss & the Christmas Moss. But I removed them since they were a magnet for string algae, might add a few mosses in the future.
Now, I have several fishes happily living in the tank. I have 12 Neon Tetras. Some were given to me by my wife on my birthday, 4 Harlequin Rasboras, 2 Albino Siamese algae eaters, and a Red Racer (Nerite snail) which keeps the tank free from algae. I do have several wild-type shrimps and 1 black Neon Tetras which is the oldest of the bunch. It has been here for roughly 2 years and has grown a lot. Before we used to have a bunch of guppies, Galaxy Rasboras, and rainbow fish in which were not that lucky. But I think lived their lives happy.
As of now, our plan for the tank is to upgrade our filter system to a canister type for less maintenance and easier to clean. We are also looking into some CO2 canisters for our CO2 injection so it will be much safer than DIY which will explode when not regularly checked for the pressure. As for the fish, we do not have plans yet for additional inhabitants. Maybe additional algae eaters like the nerite snail or Amano shrimps but not for now.