I posted a day ago on another area in this forum but decided I would do it here in hopes to gain more ideas and comments.
This is my 2nd ever setup and first one in 3 years. I had to abandon this hobby for a while because of life and stuff but since getting married and settling down I felt comfortable and have the time again to work on what I've grown to love through all the amazing setups I've seen around Hong Kong's stores and online! I am a big fan of the Nature aquarium and ADA's style of things. This is really my 2nd time trying to do an iwagumi setup and I took almost 6 months to plan it and think what I should do. The research was fun though!
The beginning stage of finding the right rocks and how many etc. was very challenging and difficult. Took me some time to play with the substrate to try to get the best out of the situation with my 9 Hakkai styled rocks. Finding the "golden ratio" is easier said than done! Finding tall hakkai rocks was also virtually impossible...This was the best I could do:
Planted the tank using the dry method. The substrate was made wet with a spray first before the HC Cuba was planted. Upon planting, water was slowly and gently added to avoid disruption:
Tank was a bit misty at first:
But in about 30 mins the tank became much clearer. The Eheim 2217 is very powerful and effective. The HC Cuba managed to stay in the soil the whole time and seemed relatively happy.
After a few days of dosing ADA Brighty K and ADA Green Bacter upon daily water change I've noticed that the plants were not doing so well. The HC Cuba were visibly yellowing and going slightly transparent:
I attribute this to multiple problems which I needed to adjust. The water quality level was problematic. The PH levels were tested and the water seemed to be not acidic enough than expected. I adjusted the amount of Co2 added and increased the amount of light given from 5 hrs in the first 3 days to 6 hrs.
Also, I found that I didn't dose enough Brighty K and Green Bacter because I read the instructions wrong. I began to inject more Brighty K daily and added a few more drops of Green Bacter.
After another few days, this is the result:
As you can see, the plants have become "leaner". Many of the originally planted have weakened or died out but there has been new signs of growth. But the stems of the plants still seemed weak. The roots seemed white, long and lacked strength. This has been troubling and worrying at the same time.
So I turned my attention to the temperature of the tank. Could this be a problem? I checked and found the temperature floating around 29-32C which is way too hot for HC cuba. To tackle this, I went out and grabbed something to cool the water down. I'll wait a few more days before I post any further updates.
I'd appreciate any comments on what I'm doing right or wrong since I really am basing a lot of what I'm doing on what I have read.