Hey everyone! I haven't been 'round in awhile- been soooo busy lately, especially violin and everything. Anyway- I've decided to take my 55 gallon tank in a new direction. My city's water is pretty bad- 18 KH etc... I've been trying 3 wpg with pressurized CO2, fertilizing to ratio every week, but it hasn't really been working- I get tons of algae, and I don't like it.
I'm changing to 2 wpg (2x55 PCs), moderate pressurized CO2 (for 15 ppm or something like that), and instead of fertilizing to 10 ppm NO3, 20 ppm K, and 1 ppm PO4, I'll make it so that the water I add at water change will be 10 ppm NO3, 20 ppm K and 1 ppm PO4. I won't need to add PO4, since my tap water has 1 ppm PO4, but I'll test every week or so just to make sure. Before I was testing 1 hour after water change and adding then, but that wasn't really working.
I'm also changing the type of plants- and have decided to go mainly into Crypts. I already have some Balansaes (which I was inspired to add by seeing Buck's tank- I love them soooo much) and ordered a lot of plants from Aquariumgarden.com. I also am doing java ferns and Anubias. I'm going to slow growing, hard water tolerant, but lush look. For background, I'm going to have jungle vals, balansae's, crypt spiralis, and hopefully some java fern on some driftwood- or something lifting it up. I really don't care about having a foreground- I just want a lush look. I'll also have some hygro polysperma- I need some hygro sunset, but just look in swap 'n shop to see about that. For the other crypts, I basically ordered every crypt aquariumgarden had- except for ciliata- it didn't appeal to me. I also got some anubias giganta, coffeefolia, and moved some anubias nana on some driftwood into the tank too.
Anyway, I'm looking for any suggestions from anyone on how to make this work. I know I'll have to be patient- but I'd rather have slow results than fast mess-ups. Any advice is helpful- and if you have any extra crypts that are really cool- drop me a PM and I might be interested...