Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bee Show Tank pt. 2

I feel like it's been one of those "months", where things have slowed down, and I haven't had time to really update the blog.  Besides taking down my 15 gallon OEBT tank, nothing new happening.

I noticed my OEBT population dying off slowly from either a bacteria infection or an unknown cause.  Regardless, I decided to take the tank down and have a fresh restart.  I couldn't control the deaths so I just took out all the plants, and shrimps and bought new substrate.  Surviving OEBT are currently housed in a small 5 gallon bucket with an airstone.  One thing I found interesting is that most (90%) of the OEBT that did survive are OEBT Blues.  Many of the blondes died off, kind of an "extreme" way to cull for a desired trait.  I'm hoping the surviving OEBT Blues will increase my Blue offspring percentages with resistance to this bacteria infection.

The reason in deciding to go with an inert substrate is control.  I noticed that it was hard to get full control of my water parameters with ADA AS (known to buffer water parameters.)  This isn't to say ADA AS is bad, it's just not the direction I want to take.  The new substrate should be coming in Saturday.  I'm excited to get the substrate and start redoing the 2x 15 gallons I have laying around.  The substrate is inert black substrate. Should be interesting to work with.  [Note: I don't plan on growing fancy plants so inert substrate is perfect for my setup.]

Anyways, to the good stuff!  The 10 Gallon bee tank at my GF's house is growing in nicely.  The moss is growing very nicely on the driftwood, sadly I cant say the same for the carpeting plant.

This is a top view of what the tank looks like.  The moss has really grown, notice the healthy bright green color.  I had to trim the moss back a bit.  The new growth is starting to cast a shadow over the lower layer of moss.  I didn't want the top layer to cut off light to the bottom layer and cause the bottom layer to die, and eventually become undone and make the entire thing to float up.  [Note: Trimming plants will help stimulate healthier and lusher new growth.]  The Bolbitus in the back hasn't really taken off, not a big surprise as the plant is an extremely slow grower.  The carpet plant is terribly slow, probably still needs more time to establish it's root system.  I'll give the plant another month to prove me wrong.  The tank is still pretty "bare" but I'm going to add some Mini Pellia sheets.  Mini Pellia is an awesome carpet liverwort that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it provides a lot of added benefits similar to moss.  Algae has been a constant problem for the tank.  Excess nutrients from the ADA AS and abundant of light is causing brown algae to grow on the glass. I was careful to not infect the tank with any Black Beard Algae (BBA) or green hair algae.  I made sure I dipped the plants in an H2O2 solution to kill off any algae spores that the plant might be carrying.  I'm controlling the algae growth with consistent water change and maintenance. [Note: I leave some brown algae on the sides and lower part of the back glass because it provides AMAZING grazing areas for shrimps.]  I think within a few weeks, as the plants grow more and the nutrient levels balance off, the algae will slowly disappear.  Staying vigilant is the key to beating algae.  OHHH, I also have a berried female CRS inside the tank!! My GF and her mom are both excited to see the babies!!  Will update when babies hatch.

Full Tank Shot

As for my other shrimps, nothing much has changed.  I moved the Blue Velvets (10) into their own 10 gallon tank.  The females are all berried and have been for some time now.  The first female should release anyday now, and others will follow shortly.  My Taiwan Red Rilis are breeding so fast and with females constantly berried, I'm currently going through a population EXPLOSION!!  Similar things are happening with my other Neocaridina species.  My Snowballs are pooping out babies so fast!  The crazy heat waves  must have accelerated their gestation period.  I have a very strange female Snowball the size of an Amano Shrimp.  (Rare because Neocaridina grows much smaller than Amano shrimps.)  Her cluster must hold anywhere from 35-40 eggs!  My Yellows are starting to breed again after the move to the 10 gallon tank.  I notice Yellows are much pickier than other Neocaridinas.  I had a few die off during the transfer, but the poplation is bouncing back.  My Blue Pearl population is growing at a steady rate so I've been culling for bluer coloration.  My Tangerine Tigers are all fully grown adults.  Some females berried up last week with others showing signs of developed saddles.  Typically, saddle females will get impregnate by males within a week.