Wow it's been a year already...
Well unfortunately my new job has taken over everything else and I have not touched this tank since my last post. Luckily the automated setup has been working well and has taken over my role of "keeper" until I find time to tend to the tank again.
Here are some changes and notes since my last post:
- CO2 and ferts ran out around Christmas and were never replenished. The higher-light plants perrished while the ferns, anubias and crypts have been growing very healthy. I'm happy with that.
- The two 48" AquaRays powered by the VHO ballast were just too powerful for a non-CO2 tank, i turned them off when I started to see some BGA growing. Lighting has been reduced to 2x250W MH bulbs for 4 hours a day.
- Fish load was increased to keep NO3 levels above 0. My kids helped out so it's looking more like a "Walmart Biotope" than anything else.
- Filters, gravel and glass have not been touched since initial setup, I will clean out the filters in a month or so, gravel looks great so not touching it, glass has never needed cleaning in this tank, I was thinking it may be due to the angle of the light and how little of it hits the glass surfaces...
- Feeder is set to twice a week, some flake and some algae wafers. No skinny fish in sight.
- The automation system has been rock solid and has survived through several power surges and outages. I did loose one controlled outlet due to a faulty 400W MH ballast, luckily I had spare outlets and I don't use the 400W bulb in the middle of the fixture anyway so no big deal.
That's about it for now, overall I'm very happy and lucky to have gotten this working so well before changing job as it would have been a disaster without automation. I still get a kick out of turning the lights on remotely with my iPhone when I know we have visitors... that part doesn't seem to get old
I will post a picture when I'm back home this weekend...