Woohoo, finally filled this thing! Things are going OK. Had some stringy fungus like material on the HC that I've been working to clean up. Oh, and totally filled the aquarium will a bunch of little white flakes from the filter tubing. I'm guessing it is a sort of biofilm that builds up in the tubing. If I ever notice my tubing is white again, I'll put a net in front of the filter discharge to catch anything that blows into the tank when I restart the filter.
Filter is still cycling so no fish yet. I had a good nitrite spike that is now testing zero so I think I'm almost there. Added some ammonia this morning so I'll check tomorrow morning to see if it has all been converted in 24 hours.
I had a Fugeray on the tank, which I suspect was completely capable of growing what I want. And then I went to the LFS, saw the 24" Planted+ in stock and lo and behold I'm coming home with a new light. Needed? Not a chance. Wanted? You betcha. I really like it! On paper it is brighter. In person and I find it just more pleasing to the eyes. That red and, when I feel like turning it on, the blue is nice to see, especially in the sparkle off the water.
I'm busy testing a lot (Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, pH and Phosphates). Struggling to keep phosphates at a measurable level so I've been adding KH2PO4 every other day to 2ppm, only to see it go to zero by the next day.
Some algae is beginning to sneak in. My rocks are pearling
Yeah, maybe not, it's the algae that is beginning to grow on the rocks. I've been using a toothbrush to scrape that off each night.
In the picture below you can see some brown algae covering some of the HC. It is removed pretty easy so I just pick it up with some tweezers or vacuum it up. Lots of brown specks on the HC leaves. Almost looks like fine aquasoil specks, but I think it is more of the brown diatom type. I do have some green diatoms growing on the glass too.