Post-Vacation Madness!

Right.  So.  I’ve actually been on vacation for several days — out of state, camping and hiking, that sort of thing — and my tanks have been left in the capable hands of some automatic fish feeders (which I’ll be reviewing sometime soon).  Unfortunately, although auto-feeders keep fish from starving, they don’t do such a great job of trimming plants, cleaning algae, or doing water changes… which is why I came back to jungles of anacharis, loads of algae, and coffee-black tannins.

…I’m exaggerating… but only about the algae.

First up, we have the 55-gallon tank.  This is what it looked like when I came back:

55 post-vacation

The algae wasn’t actually as bad as it looks — the light was just glaring on it — but it was kinda ugly.  I got to work scraping it off (breaking my algae cleaner in the process ), which left me with:

55 jungle

Better.  There’s still some algae on the back glass while I wait for a new scraper, but other than a few specks of hard spot algae, the front glass is clear.  A water change and a lengthy, tedious trim-and-replant later, I have this:

55 back together again

Much, much better.  The anacharis looks a little scraggly in more than a few places, but when it fills in, I think this is going to look really nice.

lily padbulb in 55The top of my 10-gallon gammarus tank was nearly covered with Nymphaea lily pads, so I trimmed a few of those out.  I decided to separate one of the bulbs from the mature plant it spawned and drop the bulb into the 55.  The bulb already has a new plant sprouting, so I’m hopeful that it will add some new color and texture to the tank.  I don’t think I’ll let it take over the surface like it did in the shrimp tank, though.

tanninsanityThe other shock I had upon walking into the fishroom — not counting the epic spiderwebs — was the coffee-black tannins in the Fluval Chi.  I did a 60-70% water change to dilute them, so now they’re at the darkness of strong tea rather than coffee. At least I can see into the tank now.

Now, finally, the most important thing about leaving for vacation:  my fish were all fine. I couldn’t resist filming Macbeth as he strutted around his tank: