I’ve continued to treat the tank with Excel and the algae has continued to degrade. The color has gone from brown, to red and now to a dull grey. The fish are feeding on it, especially the Boraras brigittae who nip on it constantly.
There are a lot of tiny particulates floating around in the water now. Since this is new I suspect it might be bits of the degenerating algae floating around. I’ll do a water change this weekend and move a few plants around which will at least temporarily clear the water. I’ll probably add back in the anubias, java fern as well. The bolbitis is continuing to make nice progress emersed so I’ll let it mature a bit more before putting it back in.
I’m also still battling a protein layer on the water surface. For now I’m using an limewood airstone as soon as the photoperiod is over each day which results in a nice clear surface by the morning. I’ve got some new Locline pieces to put in which will increase the surface ripple which may help.
Lastly, the substrate is still quite gassy. I’m sure I didn’t spend enough time on the mineralizing so I rather expected this. I’m guessing this will slowly subside as the composting completes, perhaps assisted by some more plant roots. There’s no H2S smell but the odor from the bubbles is the same as came from the soil during late stages of the MTS process: rather musty. It isn’t really offensive but not really a fresh house smell. When the weather turns to spring we’ll be welcoming more fresh air.
Fish continue to do well, they’re really enjoying the additional flow and play in it constantly especially the Microdevario nanus , swimming vigorously in place right in front of the outlet. Gouramis seem to spawn at least weekly but no fry yet. A couple of the Sundadanio axelrodi have gotten quite territorial around a particular branch of the wood; perhaps they’ve spawned as well. All are growing and continuing to become more colorful.