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The Life Aquatic with Snail Zissou(s): my first planted tank


Five months! This is how the tank looks right now. I just recently did a very, very low trim of the ludwigia since the tops were getting ratty. Replanted tops and all that. The hygro siamensis has really taken off and I just cut off several 20cm lengths to stop it growing all the way out of the tank! Shuffled the marsilea around and added a bit of pearlweed to fill in empty space. All in all, very please with it considering how the tank started off!
I'm currently quarantining five more pygmy corys and two honey gouramis. No problems so far, and if this holds, they'll go in the tank in a week.
Lastly... I'm finally jumping on the DIY fert train, so we'll see how it goes.
Aaaand another quick update. The new corys have drastically improved the behaviour of the whole school. I've left the hydrocotyle to float because it never wanted to stay rooted, and I have some crypt parva coming in the mail to replace my staurogyne carpet (which I just don't think I like very much). Unfortunately one of the honey gouramis died yesterday - symptoms were lethargy, lots of hiding, and eventually resting on his side on decor. I moved him to a hospital tank but he died in 24h; my best guess is some kind of compaction because there were no other symptoms that I could tell, and if it's a parasite it sure isn't affecting anything else.

I might see about getting the remaining honey gourami a female friend now... Here's a pic of the survivor looking pretty, with a bucephalandra flower spike in the lower left.

Still alive! Tank still going! A stint of under-fertilizing means that the hygros have some very ugly hole-ridden leaves but doubling (!) my ferts seems to be slowly resolving the issue. The BBA has also all but vanished, leading me to guess that it was the lack of fertilization that was the underlying issue for the algae. The crypt parva is spreading nicely if slowly and I am certain that with enough time it'll form a good carpeting layer.
The smallest espei in the tank has definite difficulty eating. It's not good at recognizing floating pellets and is now so small and skinny that it's bullied by everything else in the tank. It's only really good at eating live food and even then it doesn't do well (it's more that its tankmates get distracted and leave it in peace long enough for it to grab a few bites). I've resorted to netting it out into a clean tub of water during water changes so I can give it a little private dining session. Has anyone else had similar issues in the past?