Everything in this tank is beginning to really take off. I’ve found a good balance with the plants, fish, shrimp, snails, and my own water changes and filters. I think this setup is finally established enough to begin moving the heater and filter to less visible locations in the tank. One of the changes I made that seems to have really impacted the tank was putting a bag of Seachem Purigen right in front of the filter outflow. It is amazing for removing tannins and excess nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, etc. I like to buy the prebagged Purigen, even though it is more expensive by weight. Trying to bag and recharge Purigen was difficult. The stuff I linked to is really easy to use, super compact, and discrete.
Here are some more pics of the tank:
And here are some zoomed in photos where you can see some of the chili rasboras I’ve added to the tank.
They seem to be doing really well in the setup. There were so many munchies for them growing in the tank during this initial settling period that I’ve barely had to feed them. Full bellies all around. I had only ever really seen them in fish stores, where decor is kept to a minimum to make them easier to be seen and caught. They’d usually be in the mid levels, floating around. In this tank, they’re usually weaving between plants just above the substrate, looking for a snack. Counting more than five of them at any given time is a difficult task unless I just added some food.
I originally put ten or twenty snails in this tank to keep the dying plant matter in check. Anytime new plants are added, there’s a good chance that they’ll have some sections die off as they adjust, especially if the original environment is quite different from the new one. I’d added mostly pond snails and MTS, both of which have begun reproducing quickly given all of the food available to them. Most of my tanks have had bettas, loaches, or puffers that naturally kept snail populations in check. Luckily, my green spotted puffers love a snail feast, so I’ve been nabbing snails every few days. They’ll all crowd to a piece of algae pellet if I drop one in, then I can just scoop out a large group of them with ease. Still, I am a bit concerned by how many newborn pond snails can be seen, especially on the floating salvinia roots. Hopefully that doesn’t get out of control!