Hello let me start by thanking anyone who takes the time to read this.
My first serious planted tank has been going with limited success for about 2 1/2 months.
I got excited about it and rushed a few things, learned a lot and have been tweaking things along the way.
Let me tell you about my tank and my reason for posting:
55 gal open top
2x54w t5ho 4500k and 6500k suspended about 5" from top of tank
A mix of florabase, eco complete, laterite, fine sand and larger gravel along with about
25 seachem root tabs and 10 api root tabs. (substrate is among the things I wish I would have researched more, but I am not even considering changing the substrate)
Eheim pro 3e and classic, on the end and without spraybars to improve whole tank flow
Pressurized c02 and dedicated pump for the reactor. This pump feeds a spray bar at the bottom of the tank. I am nearly certain my problem is not with co2 and here's why: I started with diy co2 and quickly realized the error of my ways, when I first started pressurized I ran it at like 2-3bps and had a drop checker. Eventually realized the drop checker was sort of worthless and to just run it as high as possible which turned out to be maybe 12bps? I can't count it. What a difference that made! Almost overnight I saw my twisted new growth straighten up and just general better growth.
BTW I am using all RO water to start with
Have had constant levels of:
P- .5 - 2 ppm
Via dosing of:
Seachem Iron, flourish and excel because I feel like it and for algae
I am still trying to figure out dosing but I believe I am close. Basically I like to test to water, even if it's stupid, pointless, a waste of time/money... It's interesting to me. I will stop testing so much once the plants bust out. The parameters listed above are the api liquid tests.
Was a vein attempt at iwagumi like style and so I went with few plants:
giant hairgrass (eleocharis montividensis)
and a wee bit of dhg
I have seen great growth from the java fern, (not too surprising) like overnight it seems to grow a 3" leaf (ok not quite, but it's still quick)
The wee bit of dhg is thriving
The rest of it is not and this is my reason for posting.
The microsword carpet, it's beginning to feel like it will not happen, though perhaps more patience is needed. I know my substrate sucks but will it carpet anyway? There is growth, but it is easily apparent that the plant is not thriving. I am happy that it is not just slowly withering away however I know it should grow better than it is.
The giant hairgrass, I love the look of this as a curtain across the back but this thing is a pita. Only the old shoots are a nice dark green, the new ones are seriously pale. Now I've read that it could be co2 or ca but I feel like I have those in check.
Now, I do at least weekly %50 wc's, figured at least until I see the growth I am looking for, and I constantly battle the various strains of algae, so far it's an acceptable amount for my first tank.
Anything I am doing wrong or advice on how to get that dark lush green color instead of pale yellow.
My apologies for the long winded post but I am growing increasingly frustrated with this hobby although I absolutely love it.
Please note the yellow/pale growth on the giant hg in the following pics..
Maybe I should just wait longer, I thought that with a balanced high tech you could achieve a carpet in about 2 months.
I want this thing to explode with green, and I am clearly doing something wrong, but alas I have exhausted all ideas of my own on how to fix.
Last edited by norbot; 08-09-2013 at 02:37 AM.
Reason: free up pic space