So almost a month later, a lot has changed with my tanks. But all of the changes have been for the good.
The amazon sword has done well in the goldfish tank. I'm thinking about adding a root tab to boost it's growth; I would really like two huge swords in that tank. The hornwort has also taken off. It's really helped bring down the nitrate level in the tank. I will certainly need help with that when I add the newest goldfish to the tank.
The biggest change is the betta tanks. I ordered a double-decker stand and stacked them. Basically I can fit two tanks in the space that one would normally take, and run both filters from one air pump. I highly recommend this for anyone who is having trouble finding places for more tanks. I got the stand from Drsfosterandsmith.com for a very reasonable price. They come in sizes up to 55 gallons and are of a rather sturdy make. Industrial strength shelves also work if the tanks aren't going to be on display such as what you would find in someone's fish room.
So the other day I went into Petco looking for something (can't remember
what), and I made the mistake of looking at the bettas. I saw this
beauty a halfmoon king betta being sold as a plakat halfmoon. Kings
usually sell for $25 around here, but I got this beauty for only $14
because he was miss-marked. His name is Lapis, but my mother likes to
call him Captain America because of his patriotic colors. He is
currently in the 29 gallon.
The changes to my 29 gal community were the most challenging ones. Removing the gravel and then adding the sand was a pain in the rear (and back and head and knees). The sand just didn't want to work with me. I used Estes Ultra Reef, and it looks great (it's also really soft so it won't hurt the kuhlies). I don't care what anyone says, it should be at least rinsed before going into the tank. At the very least it gets rid of a lot of air bubbles (which was my main problem). I've also added pygmy chain sword (Helanthium tenellum), dwarf sagittaria (Sagittaria subulata), and Rotala indica that I bought from Aquariumplants.com (very pleased with their service and quality of the plants and packaging). This is the first step in making this my first fully planted community.
My baby goldfish is still in QT mostly because I want him to grow more before I add him to the main tank. He's gotten bigger, but still not big enough for me to feel comfortable with him in the big goldies.