My planted betta tank is still proving a learning curve. I'm having major problems with hair algae at the moment, it seems to take over in no time so I end up sucking it out with an airline on like a daily basis. KB does not seem to object to the algae but he does seem happier when it's gone. He's really seemed more perky since I planted the tank, maybe it's helping keep the parameters better, he never really flared in the 18 months I've had him but he's done it a few times in the last few weeks. I'm not really sure what to do with the hair algae at the moment, I'm currently sucking it off the leaves and rocks with an airline tube siphon as the tank's so small that I can't use a big siphon or within about 2 minutes I'll have no gravel, plants or KB in the tank and just some very green quartz! It kinda works but it can't get the tougher bits. The bits on the rocks, driftwood and glass I can use a toothbrush for but I'm a bit dubious about doing that to the plants so they just get hoovered as best I can. I have the lights on a timer, but it's not on excessively, and there's some root tabs but I've not added waterbourne fertiliser since the algae breakout, no point in encouraging it! I can't really decrease the nutrients - there's only the root tabs and KB doesn't get a huge amount of food so there's no excess waste, and I was looking into algae eating fish and there's none that are really compatible - Siamese algae eaters are small enough but like to be in groups in fast-flowing tanks, mine's not big enough for a group or flowy enough, plecos are waaaaayyyy too big and probably couldn't get it off the plants, and black mollies might be mean to my KB so that's not happening. Looks like it's the trusty toothbrush! Planting the tank thickly should help so I'm looking into that at the moment.
I had to remove one of the Bacopa Caroliniana from behind the driftwood, I don't think it was getting enough light and it was just wilting away so I pulled it, I'm not sure yet if I'll have to do the same with the other one, the bottom leaves on some stems are pretty much see-through but they don't come off easily. I'd just pull it but it looks like it's getting some new growth stems that are a healthy green so I'll see how it does, I may just cut off the not-so-happy ones and that'll give the new ones a bit more light.
I'm actually having the best results with the plants I was expecting to suffer most - the Pogostemon Helferi and the Cryptocoryne Becketti Petchii, they both started to look a bit weepy and the Crypt lost a few leaves in the first few days, but when my root tabs arrived they both perked up, I think the Crypt is even producing some new leaves - red ones so we'll see how that does. The Pogo in the front I think is spreading already, and the jury's still out on the Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis, it's not really doing a huge amount either way, we'll see how that one goes. The Pogo on the left behind the quartz is doing fine in terms of colouring, but not as good compared to the central one for growth. I think my light setup (Arcadia Ellipse) is just too centre focused so I may have to put some lower light plants round the sides if I want it really planted up. I may move some of the Java Fern and/or Anubias from the goldfish tank (which has LOTS!) or I may just buy some more, undecided yet. I know it takes time but the tank is not as thickly planted yet as I would like. And the more plants there are, the less algae grows in a scum layer on my gravel!
This is what the tank looked like when I started it, 11th Nov.
And this is what it looks like now, 26th Nov, a big difference in the central Pogo but not a lot else! I'm not sure if the Crypt is taller or just moved, and everything's been coated green! The Bacopa at the back right has grown a lot now I look at the two, it's moved right over towards the light. Will give it some time. Think I'll try a java fern in the back left for some colour over there, and it'll be less light-picky.
And the man himself, this is his feeding corner and also where he watches me while I sit at the PC