Aquarium adventure 2
So having started the 450 litre bucket, it was about a week into it that the bacteria had done some magic and I bought my first 6 fish. Zooming around in my milky white tank, I was a happy camper.
In about fortnight I understood the PH was just not setting right. I kept on getting really high readings, and I had an actual calcium limescale buildup on all panes. Anything touching on the glass resulted a snow dome effect, fluff gracefully floated about, landing into the gravel and decorating the plants like a blizzard in Christmas morning.
It was not quite the tropical setup I had planned. All that was missing was a Santa standing in the middle of the tank, happily waving in the blast.
I was at loss with the milky water. I tried to lower the PH, but as soon as I managed to get it down, next morning it was over the roof. It was becoming a little frustrating. So I consulted different “specialists” who told me the weirdest things, such as to put bacteria balls in it to fix it. My fish seemed largely unaffected, swimming in what was a puddle of calcium flakes, zigzagging in their swim to not hit them head on. So I listened to the advice and added a good amount of those rather pricy magic balls. They really are the least impressive waste of a tenner. You get a half a cupful of gelatinous water. Like thats it. Just invisible blob of..pure tap by the way. You dollop it into the tank, and it grazefully disappears from sight. A tenner gone, so you just have to belief in it and trust that your tank believes in it too.
And then it hit.
It is not a nice sight to wake up and see, or rather not see, your fish.
Overnight the tank had matured into next stage, the infamous bacterial bloom. I learned that when the conditions are right, it can just happen that some bacterias explode in growth and actually colour the water. I had added a number of packets of the invisible gunk the night before. They may say it was nothing to do with it, but I blame those balls of pure faith.
It will typically pass within few days, but of course, a hizzy fitting me sits in front of the tank in a panic state, impatiently waiting for that miracle to happen. I think my cherry barb ladies were quite relieved of the sudden fog that surrounded them. Their lads suddenly could not see them to chace and nag for sex, so these ladies jointly grouped up and hid behind the dragon stone, and I could swear they had a right old gals day out in the spa.
Also by this time my plants had started to die off. The gravel magic was not working. I had put a lot into getting a proper collection of potted plants and even made a design where they should be planted according to the needs of the plants and the image I had in seen in my fantacy tank. And they were all just melting away and dying off. How dare they die on my dream tank!
The “expert” recommended me to sack the tank and leave it to sort itself out because of the bloom. I was not convinced darkness was going to be the solution, and furthermore, my struggling plants would surely die. Besides, I was about to go on a holiday for a week, so I could not peek in to see if the bloom had calmed or plants signed out. So I was panicking if I should now cancel the trip, or just stick with it and hope that the tank fends for itself.
Then I recalled my guppies and plants 30 years back, who despite my vigorous attempts not only survived but thrived, so we packed the car and headed to Devon.