I'm beginning my first planted tank (I've had a good deal of experience with fish, not so much with plants); it's a low-tech affair, 10 gallons.
Right now, I only have Anacharis, which I added on October 30 (Sunday), but will try to add some more plants later on. I have read conflicting things about what to do with Anacharis, whether it should be planted in the substrate, left floating around, or be weighted down but not planted.
Here's what my tank looks like: http://imgur.com/JJA8R
For some of my Anacharis, I have planted them in the substrate (Eco-Complete); others I have placed in bunches, with their stems tied to a pebble to weigh them down.
Now, I wanted to ask a few things.
1. There is a bit of ammonia in the water; I understand that the Eco-Complete does this for the plants' sake. Today I tested it at .25ppm. Yesterday it looked like it might have been a little higher (a darker green), maybe somewhere between .25 and .5, but it's hard to tell for sure. Is my Anacharis likely to suck up the ammonia soon?
2. My pH is right around 8.0. Before I added the Anacharis, it was around 7.8. Perhaps because the Anacharis is taking some of the CO2 out of the water, the pH went up? The KH in the tank is around 5 or 6, although my tap water' KH is around 4 (again, I suspect that the Eco-Complete raised the KH a bit). If I gradually replace the tank water with my tap water, I suppose I will bring the KH down, and maybe the pH down a little, too. Would this be worth doing? (FWIW, the tank's GH is around 8 or 9, no different from when the water came out of the tap.)
3. One of my Anacharises looks less healthy than the others, kind of brownish. I put it in the tank anyway. It is visible here: http://imgur.com/kkGAF
It is in a bunch that is not planted, but just weighted down. Should I leave it alone and hope it starts to look better, or get rid of it?
4. I have a bottle of Flourish and some root tabs, but haven't used any yet. Should I do so yet? (Since the planted Anacharis doesn't really have any roots, would the root tabs do anything?)