Update -- so far, so good...
Well, got sidelined for a while, but finally have the tank flooded, planted, and working on establishing the HC. Besides my constant battle to keep the HC anchored in the Aqua Soil, its going really well so far! Two weeks in on the plants. No melting or die off on the HC tissue cultures. No algae at all yet (not sure when that will start, but figure its inevitable). Carpet is beginning to fill in a bit and I do get some pearling on both the high tier and the plants at the bottom.
Have the Radion on a two week ramp-up cycle that started at 50% of 90% power (I put a diffuser on it to help with shadows -- worked better than expected, but cuts PAR by about 25%). Running 8 hour photo-period with sunrise and sunset ramps of about 1/2 hr. Also really pushing CO2 levels since I have not put in any livestock yet. Plan is to go another month or so to try and really establish the HC, then dial down CO2 and add fish and shrimp.
Circulation seems good with the Fluval -- says its only at 70% on flow after I filled media baskets, but it looks sufficient. Have not measured actual output, but I'd guess I'm getting 250-300 gph turnover. So a little low, but even the back left corner plants are pearling, so I'm assuming they get enough CO2 (plus its obviously higher light up there, so maybe that compensates).
One issue was that the 300 watt in-line heater was not enough for the open top in the cold basement (I keep the house at 67 at night, must be like 65 down there). Had to put another 200w in the tank while I wait for a new 500w inline coming next week.
Next week, setting up ATO system. Week after that I'll set up for auto-dosing EI with Jebao DP-4. Still trying to decide what low-light plants to try in the shadow areas.
And, btw. Getting the HC plugs to stay put was one of the more frustrating things I've done in 2019. At least a three f-bomb project.
First pics are right after planting. The clearer ones are at the two week mark.
Last edited by harris611; 07-11-2019 at 08:06 PM.