getting ready to start new aquarium...
I'll be starting a new planted tank in a month or two, I've gotten a Aqueon 13 widescreen(yeah I read the negatives of it), lol. I wouldn't have gotten this but I've a green swordtail and a neon tetra that probably needs more room than their current 5 gallon tank. As it is, I'm having problems growing plants, elodea never grew and melted away, banana plant didn't fair well and I tossed it(small leaves that melted away, algae), windelov seems to be dying off slowly, bacopa hardly grows and a mini nana petite that seems to hold it's own. I cannot for the life in me, find a balance, adding ferts at minimal amounts causes diatoms(dim or higher light outputs), adding recommended amount of Excel and the plants did worse, imo. I've minimized the light output and shortened light on time, stopped ferts and Excel and everything seems better but no real plant growth. Maybe that is my the Low Tech balance?
Since I'm moving to a bigger tank and starting from scratch I'd like to ask for some advice and still wanting to keep it low tech if it all possible with plant growth with minimal algae growth.
Stock Aqueon lighting, possible hob filter upgrade(to AC 30 or 50), bdbs substrate, not sure on hardscape yet(maybe two or 3 rocks) and using low tech plants.
Here are my tap water specs using API's test kits:
ph test >7.6
ph High test ~7.8 - 8.0 ( pH is steady)
Ammonia <.25ppm(if not 0)
Phosphate looks like 0ppm to me
in the works of getting a tds meter so...
since I've bad plant growth I've been reading some, according to the ph/kH/co2 chart I've seen, with my parameters of pH8 and kH4 my co2 chart calculation is ~1. I've read for planted tank the ideal is co2 of 30? Maybe a reason why I have bad plant growth if at all. My light and fert. needs co2, right? or algae, in which I end up with.
My question, possibly it be best injecting co2 in which I'm trying to not do, which could bring down my pH a little in which could be good for my swordtail and neon tetra.
Would SeaChem Equilbrium do, raising my gH a few notches while keeping my pH stable at 8 as I read it's not good using pH UP/Down chemicals? hmmm, if attaining a gH of 6-8, still my co2 be somewhat low but maybe get by using Excel in place of injecting co2 for plant growth.
Read swordtail gh ~12(low end) and neon tetra gh~10(high end) so I figure if I could do gH 8? maybe at that value Excel work with ferts with less/no algae, no?
with current tap water test values would it be, co2 injection for low tech plants or what other options do i have working with my tap water?
Started out, thinking it's a 5gal. tank chore for my grandkid want, now, it's turned into a expensive hobby that I've got only myself to blame fer.
Last edited by Pocho; 06-17-2019 at 04:22 AM.
Reason: fixed up wording