RIP Meta the Betta, 9/27/2017. Poor fish somehow managed to get wedged under a rock in the corner of the tank and we did not see it in time.
The former tank had a prolific Java Fern, which I plan to keep for the new tank. We also had a fairly significant algae problem. I basically had to scrub the whole tank weekly in order to prevent it from becoming a "forest" landscape. So, here's where we're at:
-Tank has been completely emptied, scrubbed out, and wiped down with vinegar
-Gravel in the tank has been thoroughly washed
-Water is back in the tank and some aquarium starter has been added
The one thing I didn't wash were the bioballs in the filter. I expect they've got some algae on them as well but I know there's a significant amount of good bacteria there and didn't want to completely eradicate it if possible. I've cleaned the Java fern as best I can (rubbing algae gently off leaves, giving it a good rinse afterwards) but I want to do everything I possibly can to ensure a successful launch to the tank. So, here are my questions for all you super aquarium pros
1) Anything I can do to sterilize the Java fern so it doesn't quickly spread algae? I'm guessing there's still a significant algae presence in the roots that I can't eliminate.
2) When should I reintroduce the plant into the tank?
3) My test kit arrives on Monday. How do I pass the time so I don't freak out with anticipation? (My budget ran out last time before I got to the test kit)
Edit: on my phone and starting to read cycling stuff. Hope I haven't messed anything up too bad. My daughter was traumatized at the passing of her fish. So many tears! I was in a bit of a frenzy to get things started and show her some progress.