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Discussion Starter · #161 ·
I may have spoken too soon. I can't think why I'm experiencing an outbreak of hair algae for the first time. I'm not doing anything different than I have been since I purchased the floodlight I'm using, back in May. The snails may be falling down on the job:
Plant Organism Wood Terrestrial plant Fish
 

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Discussion Starter · #162 ·
It's been a while since I've posted about this porcelain bowl. But, before I go on, there is one bit of bad news to report: The apistogramma adult male (I call him the beta male to distinguish him from the alpha male that remains in the breeding tank) died after appearing rather sluggish for a few days. He is survived by two adult females of the same species and 5 glo-fish zebra danios.

This was especially disappointing because they all seemed to be getting on well together. The danios spend the entire day swimming in circles while the apistos lurk in the shadows, only coming out at mealtimes. Mealtimes did tend to be competitive and for a while I worried about the apistos getting enough to eat. I increased the portions, even as it seemed some of it went wasted.

I also thought about swapping out one male for the other in the belief that perhaps the beta male could benefit from a change of venue. But alas he passed away before I could make up my mind about it.

As for the rest of the bowl, a friend came by the apartment the other day and remarked that I had a beautiful "potted fern" in my dining room. It was only after he peered into it that he realized there were fish in it:
Plant Flowerpot Houseplant Botany Terrestrial plant


Another thing I fret about is the rate of oxygen being exchanged at the surface as keeping the floaters under control is a constant concern:
Plant Leaf Nature Automotive tire Vegetation
 

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Another thing I fret about is the rate of oxygen being exchanged at the surface as keeping the floaters under control is a constant concern:
I can only comment anecdotally on this, but in the tanks I keep, the surface is always clogged with plants. I use water lettuce as a floater, and I like to keep fast growing rooted plants that grow up and across the surface. I have to pull water lettuce and prune almost daily just to make a space to drop food in. I have never observed any apparent detriment to non-plant life that would suggest a gas exchange issue.

The larger concern for me in regard to floating coverage is that it blocks light from lower levels. Gas exchange does not appear to be an issue from what I have seen.

Best,

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #165 ·
Have any of the glofish fries survived?
I'm sorry to report, no. The few that I spotted in the breeder tank disappeared gradually. But that was in a tank with an active predator in the form of the alpha apisto male. What I'd like to do eventually is swap out the danios with the surviving alpha male and turn the breeder tank into a community tank with just the danios and the juvie apistos. I'm gambling that more glo-fish fry would survive that environment and I think it would also be good for the juvie apistos to have some chill adults around to serve as role models (at scarcely a half-inch long, they are already showing signs of aggression with each other.)

Anyway, whoever said raising fish was dull!
 

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Bowl is beautiful and I love the surrounding arrangement.
I don't think that the bowl will support many fish and oxygen deficiency is a possibility.
You mentioned keeping plant debris to produce CO2. I would not do that--at least purposefully-- for this small setup (no aeration and few or no submerged plants to produce oxygen). Emergent plants get their CO2 from air.
I would remove excess debris and not add more fish (i.e., do not increase your stocking density).
The algae growth you see fortuitously plays the role of submerged plants. It oxygenates the water. In this situation, algae is a bonus!
Note: It is refreshing that you have such interest in ecosystem processes and are sharing your observations with us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #167 ·
Bowl is beautiful and I love the surrounding arrangement.
I don't think that the bowl will support many fish and oxygen deficiency is a possibility.
You mentioned keeping plant debris to produce CO2. I would not do that--at least purposefully-- for this small setup (no aeration and few or no submerged plants to produce oxygen). Emergent plants get their CO2 from air.
I would remove excess debris and not add more fish (i.e., do not increase your stocking density).
The algae growth you see fortuitously plays the role of submerged plants. It oxygenates the water. In this situation, algae is a bonus!
Note: It is refreshing that you have such interest in ecosystem processes and are sharing your observations with us.
I've been trying to set aside time to reassess the bowl's basic components (plants, critters, substrate, etc.) and I'm toying with the idea of paving over the excess debris with some Safe-T-Sorb and transplanting some submerged rooted plants from another tank.

But, I'm also wondering whether I can accomplish virtually the same thing by cutting the emergent leaves from my red tiger lotuses? Wouldn't that force the lotuses to revert to their submerged selves?
 

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I'm also wondering whether I can accomplish virtually the same thing by cutting the emergent leaves from my red tiger lotuses? Wouldn't that force the lotuses to revert to their submerged selves?
Since our plants are very different species, this might not apply, but I've been trying something similar with my Taiwan lily. It's been putting out floating leaves with plantlets almost exclusively and the submerged leaves are deteriorating. So I've been trimming the floating leaves, but not all of them. The deterioration seemed to slow when there were only three floating leaves, but since I've been gone so much, I can't babysit it. It's a shame, because I like the plant when it has some floating leaves and some submerged, but apparently it doesn't. Oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #171 ·
I've been looking for a bowl like this. In fact, this exact bowl is perfect! I believe my uncle had the same one some 25 or so years ago.

Where did you find it?
I've had mine nearly as long as your uncle. Maybe 20 years. I found it in New York City's Chinatown. I wish I could give you the exact address. All I remember is that it was not one of the glitzy, souvenir stores. Look for one of the less noticeable "holes-in-the wall" on Mott or Mulberry Street.
 

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Discussion Starter · #172 · (Edited)
Since our plants are very different species, this might not apply, but I've been trying something similar with my Taiwan lily. It's been putting out floating leaves with plantlets almost exclusively and the submerged leaves are deteriorating. So I've been trimming the floating leaves, but not all of them. The deterioration seemed to slow when there were only three floating leaves, but since I've been gone so much, I can't babysit it. It's a shame, because I like the plant when it has some floating leaves and some submerged, but apparently it doesn't. Oh well.
Your Taiwan lily sounds like my "hardy lily". Its submersed leaf stems will just keep growing until they touch the surface; it took me a long time to realize that they weren't emergent leaves.
Here's a snapshot of my hardy lily's submersed and emergent leaves next to each other near the surface:
Plant Green Leaf Botany Terrestrial plant


My red tiger lotuses have taken quite a beating this past year. Without their emergent leaves, they are mere shadows of their former selves, I doubt they've grown a single new submersed leaf in six months:
Plant Terrestrial plant Grass Adaptation Groundcover


This morning I took out a container that held several terrestrial plants (Peace plants) and made room for a grove of sag subulata in its place. They should adopt to the bowl pretty easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #173 · (Edited)
I took a deep breath and retrieved the artificial cave where I last saw my last female a. borelli, probably a month ago. Not sure what I was expecting to find; some forensic evidence? But it was clean and what that means is that I am down to one remaining adult apisto, a male. The rest had become - in the words of a recent poster - "support staff" in the ongoing saga of raising a small brood of fry.

Remarkably, the water parameters are all at safe levels. i can only imagine how big the ammonia spikes would have been had three fish corpses not been tagged and removed two years ago.

Not much change at the substrate level. Very little sign of new submersed leaf growth on the tiger lotuses. The subulata are doing well, as predicted:
Plant Green Botany Yellow Grass


OTOH, my terrestrials have never been better:
Plant Flowerpot Houseplant Interior design Terrestrial plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #174 ·
ETA: This is the "grand-daughter" of the potted red tiger lotus that occupies a great deal of the space at the bottom of the porcelain bowl. It was not doing too well in the community tank where it began life as a "runner" from a lotus that is doing quite well and was sprouted from the same bulb as the one in the bowl:
Twig Wood Beige Natural material Plant


Here it is replanted next to its "grandmother":
Botany Yellow Body of water Terrestrial plant Natural landscape


Hopefully, it will add to the oxygenating plants that I somehow managed to overlook when thinking about this bowl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #175 ·
I think there's been some growth in the past week. Not an explosive amount but enough to know that the old red tiger lotus is still alive and kicking. Based on Diana's recent thread on Tank Oxygenation: Plants v. Aeration, I'm thinking Grandma Lotus could use more CO2:
Water Leaf Botany Organism Terrestrial plant
 

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I kept seeing this pot in the background of your Apistogramma thread and was about to ask about it. Glad the title of this thread was interesting enough to get me to bite hahaha.

I've been wanting to do a few little ponds like this on my patio.
Off to grab some snacks - I've got 9 pages of catching up to do! 😁🍿
 
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