First off, the pond is open for 2013! Earlier this week we took the net off the pond. I spent a few hours cleaning out a lot of the algae that built up over the winter and clearing out any debris that made it through the net. The koi were out to greet me and the water is almost warm enough to start feeding them. I start them out with Cheerios at 55F (13C) and move them to wheat germ when the temp hits 65F (18C).
|Freshly uncovered and cleaned of most algae|
|The koi just hanging out in the sunshine.|
The next major change is a new tank! I removed the red cherry shrimp from my community and set up a tank dedicated to breeding them. My gourami were making it next to impossible to breed them, so I just removed the shrimp. I moved over the remaining adults and later that week found four juveniles hiding in the moss. Thus far the female has released one clutch of eggs and is holding a second. Because the founding population is so small, I'm going to order more red cherries. Too much inbreeding produces shrimp that are far to weak. The plants are mostly stems with some anubias. The plant list: Bacopa carolinia, dwarf sagittaria (Sagittaria subulata), Myriophyllum mattogrossense, Rotala rotundifolia, Anubias spp, riccia, Subwassertang, and java moss.
|Full tank shot|
|Two males and juvvie eating sinking wafers.|
There have also been large changed in my community tank. I've finally added the cardinal tetra. I bought 12 from msjinxkd.com. They came in excellent condition and have been flourishing ever since. They are as gorgeous as they are in pictures, and I'm completely in love. The shoal has been dubbed "The Shinies" and my family remarked that they almost look like they are glowing.
|My new cardinal tetra; I apologize for the dark picture.|
The other major change in my community has been an addition of more crypts. The dwarf sagittaria (Sagittaria subulata) and dwarf chain sword (Echinodorus tenellus) I had in there was just languishing. I don't know if it was the light or the tannins or just what, but they never grew for me. So I removed what was still alive and placed it in the shrimp tank. I replanted that side of the tank with green wendtii (Cryptocoryne wendtii var green) and red wendtii crypts (Cryptocoryne wendtii var red) and C. spiralis from AquariumPlants.com. I've had minimal melt with them and even see new growth. I'm very pleased with them. You can see them on the right side of the tank.
|Full tank shot; the bettas are still in the breeder boxes.|
|Right bowl - hornwort; left bowl - anarcharis|
|Ramshorn snails in the anarcharis bowl|