Hello all, I guess this will be the first entry into my progress journal. I started keeping fish in high school --- WAAAY back in 1994....woah. Was heavily into cichlids, including oscars, firemouth, breeding convicts, etc...but never really got into planted tanks. Too much time/money commitment. Anyway, I had a long break during the past twenty or so years, with kids, jobs, etc. But now the kids are getting older and expressed interest in keeping fish. SO I SAID YES!!
Decided on a relatively easy setup from PetSmart to get us started, and spent some mula on the substrate, hardscape, and better lighting. SO, here's what we have so far:
Eco Complete Substrate
18W, 7500 K, 920 lm, NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light
6W, 7500 K, 380 lm, NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light
Cycling with: Top Fin Bacteria Supplement Aquarium Cycling Water Conditioner for one week, followed by introduction of one cherry barb the past week and more bacteria supplement.
Nitrite: Kit arriving soon
Nitrate: Kit arriving soon
Current plants (TopFin specimens):
Two Amazon Swords (Echinodorus amazonicus)
Two Windelov java fern (Microsorium pteropus)
Dwarf hairgrass (Eleocharis parvula)
Cardinal plant (Lobelia cardinalis)
One Congo Anubias (Anubias congensis)
Two Anubias (Anubias barteri)
One male Cherry Barb
Ok, so my current thoughts. I think the plants are stressed. I'm noticing some curled down leaf tips on the anubias, and the new leaves on the swords are sort of dark colored. I'm not happy with the low pH, probably means something is wrong with my tap supply. Not enough dissolved buffer ions. I have Thrive and Flourish Excel arriving today, so I plan to start dosing that. And I have SeaChem buffers arriving tomorrow to adjust pH to 6.5, which is what I'm hoping to keep it at. So that's the story so far.
Any suggestions on dosing the Thrive and Excel?
Thanks, and looking forward to using this great forum.