Sunday, April 22, 2007

Runners, rhizomes, and adventitious plantlets

So things are still running pretty well, I think. I did a water change yesterday with some RO to try and get the pH down a bit (it's been hovering around 7.4). I'm considering using peat to get it down below 7, but there's a reason I soaked my driftwood for 2 weeks before adding it to the tank—I don't know that I'm enthused about tannin-stained water. So we'll see about all that.

The fish are all happy. I want to take a quick moment to discuss my recent thoughts on them, though. Last week, I was bored, and I went to Petco to get some more fish and plants. In particular, I got 2 Zebra Danios to add to my temporary collection. As soon as I added them to the tank, I noticed something curious—they really stood out from the crowd. One of them is kind of a brownish gold color, rather than the striking white, silvery stripes of the Danios sourced from my local fish store. The other is bigger than the rest, but he just looks kind of retarded. Rather than a straight back from the tail to the nose, this one has kind of a "hunch back" thing going on. He doesn't really hang out with the others, and I'm not quite sure what the story there is. The Platies and plants I acquired at the same time, though, are doing just fine.

Speaking of plants, I've been trying to figure out what I have. I bought two plants at Petco out of the "assorted" bin. I thought one of them was a Valisneria, but it turned out to be a Water Onion once I unpotted the bulb. The other I picked up because I thought it might be a Rosette Sword (Echinodorus Parveflorus v. Tropica). I'm not quite sure at this point, but I know I'm going to have several more of them soon. It's sending long stems with new roots and leaves to grow baby plants every couple of inches. Neat.

While I was at the store filling up my RO bottles, I got some new rocks to fill in the empty middle of the tank (but leave some open swimming space once the plants start growing). I made a nice little cave with them, which is always appreciated by the fish, I'm sure. I also saw a little potted Micro Sword (Lilaeopsis brasiliensis) that looked healthy, so I got that too. It was a small pot, but once i took it out and started pulling individual plants apart, I was able to plant a good portion of the foreground (and some on the side) of my tank. After a while, I'm sure they'll fill in the area quite nicely. The Platies really seems to like it, too. I keep seeing them weaving in and out between the narrow leaves.

I'm also keeping an eye on a new little plant I wasn't counting on. At some point, I ended up with this little one-inch piece of root floating around. I was going to throw it out, but I let it stay to see what would happen. Sure enough, it started growing little roots itself, and now it has sprouted a couple of tiny leaves. So, I've put it in the gravel now, and we'll see what it turns into. Maybe another Red Wendii? Who knows.

So, that's pretty much where I'm at now. Hopefully, the water chemistry will stabilize soon, and I'll be able to start populating my tank with its more permanent residents.

No comments: