Even more time since the last update (blame a bout of pleurisy and a hospital stay for that) but lots of news. At least it has given me a bit of time to even 'finer tune' the circulation system. Water was originally drawn from the main area of the tank via two outlets and whilst it was working fine it tended to create a few areas of higher flow, not entirely correct for a Blackwater environment. So armed with various plumbing bits, more stainless mesh and a lot of cursing/head scratching (ah the awkwardness of a 24in deep tank with limited access) I set to work. The water now flows out of the main area of the tank through six outlets. I can now honestly say I am 100% happy with the filtration/circulation system (probably...for now...perhaps
On the downside, I was tinkering with stuff in the back boxes and I saw it...one of the Cardinals is living a life in solitary confinement, don't know how I missed him but he is there. Spent a few days trying to catch him but he just wasn't buying it. Anyway, told Mrs Biff "I am going to have to rip some of the background out". She didn't say anything but gave me a look of "you start ripping that background out I will rip your head off". OK don't like leaving him in there but at least he isn't terrorised by anyone and he has a ready food supply. So think, for my own safety (and as much as I hate to do it) he had better stay in there.
The second downside, the Miriophyllum matogrossense has finally completely disintegrated. I must admit I am not surprised, lighting conditions in the tank are far from ideal for it and it was a bit of a gamble that was always likely not to work out. The surprising thing is that it maintained its colour right until the end but it just slowly melted. The upside on the plant front is that the Pennywort and Stargrass require regular pruning and the Swords have doubled in size since they went in.
The other alteration is a remote feeding point. Basically there is now a cup in the electrics cupboard (or mission control as it has been termed by some) which is connected to the tank via a tube and food can be flushed through. It means that the hood only has to be opened for water changes and when I need to sort the plants.
And finally, the Guppies have a new home. My father upgraded one of his tanks (yep still going strong on the fishkeeping front at 84) and asked if I wanted the old one. Was thinking three tanks is enough these days....but if I put the guppies into that then we can increase their numbers..."OK Dad, I'll have it please". Just realised, I never put up pics of the old Guppy tank but I promise to do ones of their new residence soon. Anyway moved the fish over and all seemed well at first. The following day the fish started to hang near the surface and were generally lethargic. Checked the water and there was a nitrite spike. Eek! A quick think. I hadn't moved the sand over from the old tank. Fortunately (as I was supposed to be resting) I hadn't broken down the old tank. A 60% water change using the water from that and as I syphoned it out I stirred the sand and sucked up the [i]gunk[\I] and into the new tank it all went. Within minutes the fish started chasing each other around (as the norm) and the nitrite never returned. Crisis averted....If I had caused the demise of one of her beloved guppies I think I would have been sleeping with the fishes!
And now the good bit the new Amazon arrivals....
Blackwing Hatchet (Carnegiella marthae)
Dwarf Pencil (Nannostomus marginatus)
Cockatoo Cichlid (Apistogramma cacatuoides)
Peppered Cory (Corydoras paleatus)