Sorry for delayed responses, I've subbed to my own thread now so I know when people are commenting!
Nice looking tank. I always hated hygro polysperma. I had hygro polysperma sunset for a bit and it grew way to fast. also when I finally decided to take it out it kept coming back out of nowhere. Seems if you leave even a single root it somehow sprouts back to life.
It does grow very quickly, which was the purpose of it being in there for initial setup - nutrient sponge! I trim back growth about every other week, sometimes weekly if necessary, to try to keep it more compact. The polysperma has grown on me, though, and will likely be staying. With the right lighting, new growth turns a beautiful reddish orange, so maybe I have the 'Rosanervig'(aka sunset) variety? In fact, I just did a quick Google search and in reading on 'Rosanervig', I think that's exactly what I have - white veins and the coloration I mentioned. Neat! As to how prolific it is - that's why it's on the USDA invasive plants ban list! A plant can sprout from a leaf fragment, and as you've observed, possibly even root strands left in the substrate! It's ease of "reproduction" is why it's such a threat to waterways, can easily choke them. All my clippings get dumped in the yard for that very reason. Don't want to risk dumping a leaf frag down a drain and have it end up in a waterway.
Originally Posted by Desert Pupfish
Beautiful tank. I love puffers! Why just one? You could easily have more in a tank that size, no? Or do they fight amongst themselves to much?
Can I ask why you're going the RODI/remineralization route? Is your water crazy hard or something? Puffers are supposed to prefer hard water, and otos seem to acclimate it to okay (mine have)
Will be interested see how your battle with H. polysperma goes. I've got some in my newly set up tank--am counting on it to outcompete the algae outbreak I've got going on.....
Just one because I didn't want to deal with potential aggression, they need sight breaks and I can only do so much in a 10 gallon. I also wanted to add other livestock and puffers add quite a bio-load...very messy eaters!
As to the RODI - When I started in the hobby, my water was quite hard and my KH was very high, but has improved a lot over the years. I stick with RODI for a few reasons - Plants and many of the fish we keep prefer softer water with a lower KH. Also, it eliminates guess work - I know exactly what's going into my tank each and every time, whereas tap can vary quite a bit seasonally for most people, and since it's coming from the Kansas River in my case, there's definitely some fluctuations. I also keep shrimp in all my planted tanks, as well as three dedicated Neo tanks, and don't wish to have parameter fluctuations in the tap that might kill them.
So far, H. polysperma has been great. I'll likely be keeping it in the tank.
As to updates on my tank, I apologize for the lack thereof. The tank has not been doing very well overall and I think there's a few reasons that are compounding the issue -
1. The Seiryu stone leaches...a LOT. My TDS climbs pretty significantly throughout the week as Calcium carbonate leaches from the rocks trying to counteract the acid pH of the water. I cannot fix this without a) removing the rock completely, or b) removing the rock, sealing it with a clear epoxy and then placing it back in the tank after curing. But who's to say how long the epoxy will last? Months? Years? ...?
2. The SBReefBox light is a bad idea, at least without being suspended higher above the tank, which I don't want to do since it's in the living room and that would cause unpleasant light spillover, and it probably needs a diffuser. It's also just a ton of wattage, even at a low setting. With it not being higher above the tank, perhaps the colors aren't properly blending because I get spots of wonderful growth and then dead spots.
3. The wood in there, though beautiful and I love it, is several years old and decomposing a bit, adding carbohydrates and feeding algae. I'm dealing with a LOT of BBA, and I'm not very pleased.
First thing I'm trying to fix the situation - light change. I've swapped the SBReefBox for my old Finnex Planted+. I've always been pleased with that light and it's been sitting on a snail and California black worm breeding tank(read: puffer food tank!) for a while now, so I thought let's give that a try. I'm also dosing Excel and upped CO2 a bit. During my next water change, I will spot treat with an Excel+H2O2 mix sprayed onto the affected areas. Hopefully my Amano is still alive and will clean up the dead algae quickly, and the Oto's will do some work too on dying/dead BBA. Neither Amano or Oto touch healthy BBA, but I've seen both chow down after it has been nuked. Due to the sheer amount of BBA, many water changes will be required after treatment. It's bad...but I like to share the struggles too. It's not all rainbows and unicorns, lol.
Plants that have struggled most - Staurogyne sp. "Purple", Nymphaea sp. "Santarem", and the Monte Carlo. The MC carpet has leaf melt, but stem stays healthy so new growth should fill in quickly after I get things figured out. The Staurogyne "Purple", however, completely melts. Over, and over, and over again. I have a bunch of it growing wonderfully in my 29 gallon, so occasionally I transfer some over, and it'll establish roots, but never flourish or put out healthy new growth, and eventually melt. As for the Nymphaea, there's just a leafless bulb sitting on the substrate, refusing to put out new growth. The bulb is still firm, and I've had dormant bulbs go MONTHS without putting out new growth, so I'm not too worried. I haven't even tried to add Blyxa yet, as the melt from the other plants tells me it won't survive. I've dealt with a lot of Blyxa melt, unfortunately, and if other things are melting, so too will it.
I updated my RODI remineralization chart a few weeks ago. Here's a link if you'd like to have a look. Lowered NO3 and upped PO4. I'll likely up K a little bit here shortly as well, as I'm likely pushing the low side, but plants in my 29 gallon running this same recipe seem quite happy -