So this is where Im at. I bought an HC mat 4x4 and 3 bunches of DHG and planted them. They are separated by a plexiglass sheet to keep them from growing together.
I'm not really sure what to do next as my HC doesn't look like its growing much and is actually melting in places. The DHG is still rooting I'm assuming since it still looks green and isn't dieing off anywhere.
I'm using a 9w 6500k light for 12 hours per day and watering with de-chlor tapwater with some miracle gro.
At this point I feel like I should flood the tank but I'm afraid there aren't enough plants to fight algae. The growth has been much slower than I thought it would and even with some trimming I still feel like its slow going. So I see a few options: I could just flood it and do liquid ferts and hope for the best. Or I could buy some more HC to plant before I flood it to have a better bio-load. I just don't want to spend more money and then have it crap out on me.
My final option would be to scrap the whole thing and do a low tech tank. I really wanted to get some shrimp in there which I hear is better to do low tech.
Anyway here are some pics. The plants in the front seem to be healthy but the growth isn't very impressive. The two bunches in the back right have melted back a lot, not sure why.
Any advice or direction would be great. Thanks