Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: N.E. Philadelphia, PA
I am currently carpetting a 4 gallon with dwarf baby tears. This is a difficult plant...period. There are people on youtube that make it look simple. They grow beautful carpets in a month's time, and everything just goes peachy. My hat is off to them.
A lot of people mix Excel into their spray bottles and mist the plants with that. I've never done it without Excel, so I can't compare. If you are going to remain growing them "dry", I highly recommend mixing Excel into your water and see how that goes.
I started dry myself. I have a 25 watt T5 6500 Finnex, homemade substrate with peat moss infused with Iron and all the other micros and macros, root tabs, and the light was on 9 hours a day. I was getting growth, but not the rate I was expecting, so after a month I just decided to flood the tank. I let it go for a week and a half, dosing Excel everyday, but the tears started losing that vibrant green color. I began injecting Co2 and they perked right up within a day or two and are now growing again.
Point of the story is, these plants are very high maintanace and require a lot of...everything (nutrient rich substrate, tons of light, co2, and dosing the water column).
Co2 is most likely your missing piece. Mix Excel into your water and see how that goes. If it doesn't help, my only solution would be to flood and inject co2. Dry starting is supposed to be better because there is much more co2 available in the air than in the water (quoting what I have read on the internets). Regardless of this, some people hate it, others swear by it.
I personally have had more success with flooding and co2 injection. This is my experience and is not the "end-all" solution.
Good luck with it. That tank is going to look great once they start carpeting.
*All kinds of plants
*Barb species tank