You’ll see a school of eight neon tetra in the bottom left corner of the tank, a school of seven giant danios in the right middle of the tank, and a school of eight golden barbs just beneath them hiding close to the plant. You might also notice one of the two albino bristle-snout plecos suckered onto the front glass pane towards the left/center of the tank.
YAY! The plant species currently in the tank are, in no particular order, argentine sword, hairgrass, rorippa, and what I believe are moneywort and ludwiga needle leaf. There’s also the same anubias from before and two pieces of vine and drift wood with some kind of hygrophilia (I think) binded to it.
I really want to plop a nice big gray stone in the back right corner to round out the ~aesthetics~ of the tank, but that pretty much sums it up.
The fish are still a little stressed out as it’s only been a few days since their introduction to the tank, but we were able to get past the first-night hump with no fatalities so I’m pretty confident they’ll acclimate and settle in well. As of right now, the only thing that indicates their stress to me is their tendency to stay at the bottom of the tank and their lack of schooling. Other things such as pH, ammonia levels, and temperature, should be OK.
Speaking of which – I took some said measurements over the past few days and the results have been pretty good: pH and ammonia levels were between 6.5-7 and 0 – 0.5 respectively before putting the new fish in, and were between 6.0-6.5 and 0.-0.5 respectively just a few days after. These results are pretty ideal, although I’m not sure what might have caused the drop in pH – I reckon it might be a combination of increased biomass and stressed fishies (they’ve been known to diffuse ammonia through their gills). If it stays low, I’ll have to look into it more, as the ideal pH is around 7.
Something I totally didn’t expect also happened – I took a pH measurement for the daphnia culture just to check that they were working properly, and the test strip turned bright red almost instantly, indicating a ridiculously basic pH level! It threw me off so much that I performed the test twice to make sure. I have absolutely no idea why a thriving daphnia culture would exist in such a basic environment, while showing regular levels of ammonia (between 0-0.5), but it may explain why my other attempts to start up daphnia cultures have failed thus far.
I’m hoping to get some more species in the tank soon – especially ones to take care of the pesky algae growing on the glass (it’s the reason the tank seems a little mucky). I actually ‘borrowed’ two snails from one the school’s tanks (shh) to help out with that – it shouldn’t be a problem, as snails are usually seen as pests in tanks anyhow.
In terms of plant life – the arugula is KILLING it. Cilantro and basil are growing pretty well too, but the spinach is still struggling.
An ambitious plan that I went to set into action is set up hydroponic grow lights to equalize access to sunlight, which I think is a huge factor affecting the plants’ growth right now.
Anyhow, the ‘failure’ of the spinach is really more of an opportunity to understand more about plant growth in aquaponics systems – expect future experiments to learn more about said subject!
I know this is getting to be a bit of a long post – my next one should cover the progress of presentations so far.
tl;dr NEW FISH! Happy days.