Hi to all.
I have got my first tank underway, which has had eleocharis planted in the foreground using the dry start method which has now been going for 2 months. Things haven't really gotten off to a great start as the substrate is now coated in a dark brown/green slime which I believe is BGA, and the grass has not really spread much and is going pale on the tips.
I was advised by my LFS to fill the tank (which I am doing next week) and try to syphon the BGA off of the gravel. I just hope the BGA will easily come away from the gravel and my grass won't uproot at the same time!
Even though the DSM was a bit disheartening, I'm hoping things will look up and the grass will do better once I fill the tank.
Filter__ 6x turnover external
Heating__ 300W Fluval internal
Lighting__ 1x 58W T8 6500 with reflector (1.35WPG)
Substrate__ John Innes 3 Soil capped with 2-5mm moler clay
No C02 addition
Medium-high planting density
Medium stocking levels
1) Do I rely solely on the soil to provide the plants nutrients or should I be adding root tabs and/or water column dosing as well? dry vs liquid ferts?
2) Based on a medium-high planting density and medium stocking levels, how often/how much water to change? I know that large water changes create unstable C02 levels which can cause algae outbreaks. Would 20% every 2 weeks be preferable to 40% every 4 weeks, and do either of these suggestions sound reasonable?
3) To keep C02 levels as high and stable as possible, and oxygen levels safe, should I be looking for minimum or maximum turbulence / gaseous exchange? i.e should I add an air stone?
4) What (if any) are the pitfalls / special requirements of soil based tanks?