Hi, this is my first post here as I 'rejoin' the hobby.
Due to work and other commitments I had been leaving my 60cm tank to run by itself for a few years without any water change (I had like 2 fish in the tank so the bioload was manageable). The tank already 10 years old and the only plants in it were C.Wendtii 'green', 2 lonely C.Parva shoots that never grew, C.Wendtii Tropica. The C.Wendtii Green was the most prolific, sending runners everywhere over the years.
With increased work from home, I decide to start doing some renovations. I sort of vacuumed up the top layer of the soil and put a fresh top layer over it (the very bottom of the tank is 10 year old soil and bio-rocks), and added some plants. The objective is still low maintenance so I am avoiding fast growing weeds and also planting a variety and see what survives in the tank and what doesn't... of course the old soil results in dust being thrown up whenever I do tank maintenance or feed the bottom feeders, but I'll figure that out.. doesn't bother me too much though I have a new canister filter on the way.
- So far the surprise is the Hygrophila lancea 'Araguaia' that seems to be staying low and carpeting and the front left of the tank.
- The Alternanthera Reineckii in the right middle is also doing well but as the light isn't that strong it isn't spreading that much. But I just stuck one stem into a gap in the rock (no glue, no string, just shoved it in) and its doing well closer to the light and there's already a sideshoot.
- Helanthium bolivianum 'Quadricostatus' it grows and sends out side 'runners' easily but as new growth appears on top, the old leaves yellow and fade so perhaps not an idea foreground plant
- Cryptocoryne Retrospiralis This was what was written on the bag, but articles say that its just repackaged Crispulata. I have 2 plants in the tank one with more light, one under less light. The one with less light is putting up classic dimpled greenish brown leaves, the one with more light (the Oto is resting on one) has long narrow brown leaves with the barest of dimpling.
- Cryptocoryne Crispulata - I also bought the Tropica 1-2 grow Crispulata which are tiny at the moment, would be interesting to see the difference versus the Retrospiralis> Its supposed to grow tall enough to be seen behind the rocks, so thats where I've put it.
- Bucephalandra 3 various types. Apart from B. Kedagang which is an established type, the others go by unofficial fancy names
- Litorela Uniflora - some sad strands in the soil. Didn't work out, but I guess thats for the best so its the only North America plant while the others are Asia-Australia
- Vallisneria Nana - just acquired some with a view to hiding my surface skimmer in the left corner.