Daily tests: days 39 – 47

Filter is still steadily processing 2 ppm of ammonia in 24 hours. The Danio margaritatus have gone on hold because the breeder I was planning to buy them from sold their current batch to someone else, so I will move my Pseudosphromenus dayi into the aquarium first.

60_litre_asian_v8In preparation for the fish, I have just ordered the remaining plants, including some impulse purchases, and I have also ordered a piece of “red moor wood”, which does not look particularly red but will provide a good place for the new moss to grow on. The moss is Vesicularia ferriei, which is known by the name of “weeping moss” because it grows sideways and downwards, which I think will look good on the wood. For the moment, I have tied it to porous rocks, which were used as ballast in the Lindernia rotundifolia pots, with some black cotton thread. Cotton thread will eventually rot away, which is not a problem as the moss should have grown into the rocks by then. Alternatively, nylon string or fishing line can be used as these do not rot in water, but these can be dangerous to fish if they are loose because fish can become tangled the string and can cut themselves.

Plants layed out

In preparation for the new plants and fish, I have also replanted the Lindernia rotundifolia, so that the tallest plants are at the back and the shortest are at the front. The plants now form a very rough hemisphere. I am not so sure about the (apparently) general consensus that these plants as fast growing because they are yet to show that quality to me. So far, growth has been moderate at best, but steady and healthy… I will have to try measuring the growth rate at some point in the near future.

Daily tests: days 32 – 38

For the last week, I have been dosing 2 ppm which is being processed into nitrate within 24 hours.

So now, I am only waiting to collect the new fish, as the bacterial colony is stable. Because the Danio margaritatus will be so small, I am not going to move the Pseudosphromenus dayi to the new aquarium until the danios are large enough to not be eaten. I have also been unable to find any of the loaches I was interested in.

Actual 60 litre plant layoutThe plants are growing well; I currently have the light on a 5 hours on, 4 hours off, 5 hours on, off for the night regime: it seems to be working well. There are no problems with Cardamine lyrata and Hydrocotyle cf. tripartita. I have also added one pot worth of Pogostemon helferi, in preparation for the fish… I expect to be buying the remaining plants soon. On the other hand, the Lindernia rotundifolia has completely melted, worse than any Cryptocoryne melt I have ever seen. I suspect this is because the stems I received were grown emersed (above water, the word comes from the Latin word ēmersum, from which “emerge” is derived) and the leaves could not survive when submerged under water. Every single one of the original stems has now rotted, but every node has grown new axillary buds, which have developed into individual plants. For the vast majority, each plant is now 20-30 mm tall and growing well.

Given that the D. margaritatus are now ready for collection, so I will be looking to collect the remaining promised plants this week, or early next week, and to buy the rest as soon as possible.

Cultivating the plantsWater evaporation is still high, as I am not using the condensation tray yet, so I have had to top up the water a few times already. I used dechlorinated tap water, which raises the KH, but this is not an issue as there are currently no fish in the aquarium.