So after coming home from a little weekend vacation I found my tank looking pretty good. Most plants have responded well to the trim, especially H. zosterifolia and S. repens. MC seems to be taking off in response to the 1/3rd strength dosing I've been dosing every other day. New growth on my plants seems to be coming in a bit weak/stringy. They don't appear to be stretching, so much as they have slender stems which are not robust. I'm wondering if this could be because I'm not dosing Flourish and the plants are lacking a solid supply of carbon despite being stimulated to grow by the newly supplied nutrients. Still early days, so I'll probably just keep an eye on it and go from there. Hornwort still sucking
and S. subulata growing very slowly. Overall I'm pretty happy with the growth though.
I did a water test when I got back and got these values:
Ammonia: 0.5 ppm
Nitrite: 0.5 ppm
Nitrate: 8 ppm
Phosphate: 1 ppm
Notes: 4 days after starting ferts, 2 days after last dose.
Unfortunately I lost two shrimp as well, which is probably due to the NH3/NO2. Will adding bottled bacteria help me with this? I guess I was hoping that I was heavily planted enough to deal with these water parameters but apparently not. One suspicious thing I found was that because my filter has been running for the same amount of time I've had detectable NH3 (about 1 week now). I rigged up vinyl tubing inlets and outlets using zipties (outlet shaped more or less like a jet), which is blowing the sand off the top of the opposing hill. I've taken a picture and attached it here. Does anyone think the thin layer of sand left on top of the soil could be causing ammonia to leak into my water column? I will try to address this during tonight's water change by adding more sand, although it will probably remain a problem until my lily pipe arrives from China. This is the first time I've detected Nitrites so I'm hoping this minicycle will pass soon. Also at this point, I think I'll stop testing pH, gH, kH since they seem quite stable and are in a good range with my RO:tap mixture. Just gotta watch the nitrogen compounds and hopefully I don't lose my lil' shrimp guys that I'm a huge fan of!
Last but not least, I have some type of pest growing in the tank right now. It is attached to the glass and seems to like high flow areas. its whitish and sortof half-circular shaped, is this hydra? I know ID is tough without pics, but I'll snap some tonight.
As always, advice and comments appreciated. Thanks
EDIT: sorry the pic is upside down! I can't seem to get it to attach properly despite appearing normal on my PC. Hopefully you can still not the thin layer of sand on top of the soil.