So I am pretty new to this whole aquarium thing in general, and planted tanks I am just a few months in. I had initially started my foray into this when my husband suggested we grow plants in our betta aquarium, and well... It's gotten kind of our of hand.
I just love keeping aquarium plants, I have them in every tank and swear by their nitrate-sucking properties to keep my fish happier.
Lately, I've been trying to keep my plants happier, too. So in my last couple tanks I've got this:
20g Long with Finnex Planted+ - Miracle Gro Organic Choice Potting Soil + Flourite + Eco Complete + an incomplete fine layer of pool filter sand/gravel to help keep stuff rooted. Plants kept floating...
2x 7.5g Cubes with Finnex Planted+ - Flourite & Eco Complete only
I also put 4 size 0 O+ DIY root tabs in each of the cubes, and a few in the 20 Long. I've been seeing unprecedented plant growth compared to my other tanks which were either sand only, gravel only, and dirt+gravel cap.
I'm wanting to see if I am missing out on things here though, some of the plants which I got that originally had gorgeous colors on them are fading back to green, but are growing rapidly.
I don't dose anything other than the suggested amount of SeaChem Flourish Excel every other day or so. The lights are on probably more than they should be, no algae issues.
How can I get their colors back? And, barring that, is there anything else I can add to my tanks to get better growth out of my plants?
I have seen schematics for the DIY co2 systems, and we may be setting one up for the 20L and possibly one of the 7.5 cubes, I'm just worried about it since I keep bettas/labyrinth fish that the co2 might be too much.
I appreciate any help, gentle critique, or recommendations
Edited to add, I use Prime and have generally hard water with pH above 8 from tap. I'll try to do a full round of tests tomorrow!
Also, my goal for these are to be relatively low maintenance in terms of water changes.