I've been wanting to start a tank journal for my little nano so here it is! This has been my quarantine project for the last 2 months and I'm super proud of how it's turned out so far. I hope to get some Amano shrimp and a betta in there soon, probably within a week!
Tank: Fluval Spec V (5g)
Light: Finnex Planted+ 24/7 HLC (with a very frustrating timer for getting a good photoperiod...)
Substrate: ADA Aquasoil Amazonia Powder
Rocks: Seiyru stones
Staurogyne repens, Dwarf Baby Tears, Rotala H'ra, Ludwigia repens (I THINK?? It's growing in between the rotala stems in the middle)
Parameters (I have very soft tap water): pH ~6.4 (with CO2), KH ~5, GH ~8, NH4/Nitrites 0, Nitrates 5-10ppm. Phosphates between 0-0.25ppm.
I dry-started the aquarium at first. Here's how the progress has been the last couple of months!
Day 1, March 27th. Had the stock light for a couple of days while I was waiting for the Finnex to come in:
April 11th: Progress! Had some melt, and was starting to see some mold which I was spot treating with Excel, then later H2O2 on a Q-tip. Didn't want to spray it and risk melting the plants. I believe I accidentally over-misted for a bit which led to a higher water level, so I used some paper towels now and then to get it under control:
May 13th: Some more growth coming in! HC was really starting to bounce back from the yellowing. Mold was getting a bit rampant so I poked some bigger holes into the saran wrap and dialed back my misting a little, and just kinda let the plants do their thing.
May 17th: Mold was starting to get bad but the plants were healthy and growing in well, so.... Flood day! Started dosing 1mL of Thrive+ 3x a week, plus cranking up the CO2 to get the drop checker yellow. Did a water change every other day for a few days. Starting to see some fuzz on the driftwood. Tested the water - pH was at MAX 6.0, which I figured was because the stones hadn't started leeching enough yet to raise the hardness. KH and GH were very, very low (almost 0), which I'm guessing is because of the soft tap water + driftwood + aquasoil, but they were raising and stabilized to KH 5, GH 8 after a couple of days which I'm assuming is because of the stones.
May 25th: I did a trim of the carpet and some of the S. repens. Was expecting some stuff to melt as it acclimated from emmersed to immersed. The Rotala, on the other hand, was EXPLODING. It grows like an inch a day, what the heck. Parameters stable.
May 27th: This is just 3 days of growth for the Rotala!!!!! HC is also REALLY greening up and filling in more. I'm so surprised I haven't had any melt of it... knock on wood... Parameters still stable.
And this was today! I'm starting to see some thread(?) algae, along with GSA(?) that pearls with the other plants during the high-light/CO2 sections of the day. Everything looks to be cycled and I hope to have some Amanos in really soon to keep things under control. I'm scrubbing every couple of days in-between my weekly water changes to get the algae under control, but I'm hoping things settle soon. Also seeing the S. repens starting to reach for the light a little... wonder if I should up the dosing of the Thrive+ to like .5mL every day, but I'm scared it'll make the algae explode. Parameters still stable.