I am working on my first my first planted tank. It is a 5 gallon eclipse corner system with a 13w fluorescent. It has gravel substrate with laterite underneath. I have been adding Leaf Zone (which is Iron and Potassium).
1) Red Ludwigia new growth is yellow. This seems to point to Iron, though I have laterite and I am adding iron. I have 6 stems of this plant and it is growing QUITE fast and has double its size in just a few weeks. I had to take it out and clip the bottom halves off. Also, the veins through the leaves appear yellow. The underside of the new leaves is showing red although there was no red when I bought the plant.
2) There is a brown detritus collecting on the ludwigia leaves and the java moss. I don't think it is the usual brown algae because I have had the tank setup for 6 weeks and it is just now appearing, it isn't on the glass, and it doesn't seem to coat the java fern like I have seen in other tanks.
The current tank inhabitants are 2 adult cherry shrimp, a few baby cherry shrimp, and a dwarf puffer. I add pond snails for the puffer now and then but they don't last too long
Any help is appreciated. I wonder if nitrates are low because I only have one fish, but I am scared to add any because the puffers are quite sensitive.
The Java Moss, Ludwigia and Java Fern have been in there for about 6 weeks but I just added vallisneria, guppy grass, and a small clipping of watersprite. It is difficult to walk the fine line between keeping the puffer healthy, letting light get to the plants, and not having it look like crap, so any aquascaping suggestions are also appreciated.
Here are pics of my tank, sorry my camera stinks.. Sorry for the huge post and thanks for any help.