(My questions are in red below)
I'm now looking to add a ground cover in the area pictured above. The area is about 18 " wide x 8" deep and my LFS has something like pymy chain swords, but that's not what it is. I forgot what he called it. It's doing very well in his tanks and has formed a thick mat.
My substrate is 4 parts SeaChem Florite Black to 1 part Carib Sea Eco Complete and it's about 3 inches deep in that area.
My lighting is a 36" Current Satellite Freshwater Full-spectrum LED fixture with 72 White/36 RGB LEDs for a total of 25 watts and the tank also gets natural sunlight for 2-3 hrs which will increase during the winter without leaves on the trees.
I added stem plants on Sept 28 and the big bushy ones have already established roots. He called them 'foxtail' ; but I think they are myriophyllum. I think I also have cabomba - it's a lighter green - very pretty. The myriophyllum is probably better suited as a pond plant, it looks like it is going to need tons of pruning.
My water comes out of the tap at 0.50 ppm Ammonia. We have both chlorine and chloramine added by the city and I use SeaChem Prime. My Ph tests at 7.6 using the low Ph test and 7.4 using the high Ph test.
I don't understand my readings today. Everything was at zero. Shouldn't this tank be starting to cycle by now and how can I get it going?
I put carbon in the filter the other day - would that cause the zero reading on the ammonia and should I take the carbon out? Also does carbon filtration reduce the benefits of added fertilizers like Flourish?
I've been using that at half strength twice a week and thought it might show up on the nitrate test.
I'm using the API Freshwater Master Test Kit and it's newly purchased so I'm assuming the chemicals are still good.
I've had 3 little male platies in the tank for the past 5 days. I'm only feeding flake food once a day . Is the bio-load adequate to start the cycling process or am I just being impatient?
Is it too early to add the little chain swords (or whatever they are) in the foreground.?
Sorry for 'thinking outloud' here and rambling. I would really appreciate comments and suggestions.
Thanks so much!!