Dwarf Hairgrass/HC Carpet in ST International Aqua Soil
I'm a first time poster but big fan of this forum. Long form explanation below, but the question I have is has anyone successfully grown a dwarf hairgrass or HC carpet in ST International Aqua Soil?
I have a 12in cube aquarium that I have maintained for about a year and is my first attempt at a legit planted tank. The substrate in it is ST International Aqua Soil from Amazon.com. I also have pressurized CO2 from a paintball canister that runs 8 hours a day, and I dose with an array of Seachem products (Excel, Flourish, Trace, Potassium, Nitrogen, although I'll admit I'm not always diligent about dosing since I can't really see a difference in my plants when I forget/neglect dosing). I've tried and grown an array of plants over the last year: hydrocotyle japan grows like a weed and is currently my primary carpet plant, ranunculus inundates does pretty well, as do mosses, riccia grew TOO well so I had to get rid of it, and I've got HC tied to driftwood that does pretty good. Back when I started the tank I tried a baby tears carpet and also a dwarf hairgrass carpet, and the plants lived but never reproduced or carpeted.
Recently I went on a 9 day vacation, and sure enough my CO2 tank that had lasted me for months ran out during my trip. I came home and not only are my plants not doing very good, but there is now also algae (hair algae I think) all over everything.
During the recovery I'm considering transplanting my baby tears from the driftwood to the substrate to see if they will carpet and to clear my driftwood of algae. I'm also considering re-attempting the hairgrass carpet because I love the look of them. But I'm wondering if the reason I couldn't get HC/hairgrass to carpet in the substrate the first time is because of the granule size of the ST International (about 1/8" granules). I'm hesitant to change substrates to something like Amazonia Powder because I don't want to harm my fish or ruin my system. So has anyone ever grown a good hairgrass or HC carpet in ST International?