This is my first planted tank so please be kind!
A little about myself :
I've been keeping aquariums for nearly 20 years now (started when I was 8). For the past 13 I've been on the saltwater side of the hobby.
There's really nothing left to do with my current reef tank except watch it grow, so I needed a new project.
Tank is a standard 5 1/2 gallon Perfecto
Filtration - standard HOB filter with heater and large sack of carbon with some gfo ( granular ferric oxide) thrown in to keep phosphates under control.
Lighting - and old 55w power compact hood from a previous salty tank
-I used mostly Fluval products( bubble counter, substrate, ceramic diffuser, etc) as that is all that is available out here in the boonies. ADA would have been prohibitively expensive anyway.
CO2- I branched a line from the 35 lb CO2 tank that runs the calcium reactor on my reef
two types of Rotala
, I'm guessing they're both indica
, one is much redder than the other.
Dosing - I'm using brightwell products ( again, what is available)
I'm keeping the nitrates in the 5-8 ppm range ( tested daily), phosphates are around .05 ppm ( via Hanna phosphate checker), I add about 25 ppm potassium to the make up water from WC's ( or at least, the amount that is supposed
to bring it to 25 ppm) I also add 3-4 drops of potassium supplement daily ( roughly 2 ppm). I also have a multi-nutrient with iron, but as the tank is new, I use this sparingly.
The tank is still very young and I'm getting an expected algae bloom. It's worth noting that I let this tank cycle for 3 weeks with just driftwood and no water changes before adding plants. The tank was absolutely spotless until two days after the first water change. I use RO water.
Currently there are no fish or shrimp in the tank. I did this on purpose after reading many a horror story of epic algae blooms and I wanted to be able to take drastic measures without having to worry about fish lol.
So far the plants are growing quite well. I'm getting about 3/4-1" per day from the green Rotala
. The HC have increased in mass by about 30% since I planted them 10 days ago. I'd say the stems & hair grass are about ready for their first trim.
Please feel free to critique the system, this is not my area of expertise and any & all advice is welcome!