Wondering if anyone has any sage advice on my 5 gallon planted nano which is languishing after 2+ years of adjustments and upgrades.
Basic observed issues are:
- Yellowing of plants
- Slow growth
- Weak rooting of plants (other than dwarf grass)
- Constant low-grade algae bloom: green dust and/or fuzz algae
- Occasional BGA blooms, normally lurks in substrate and emerges when I crank the CO2 too high
- 1 attempt to introduce 8 RCS - all perished within 3 weeks
- Overall, not the lush green aquascape I've always aimed for
Levels are pretty consistent in normal range:
- Ph: 6.6-6.8
- Kh: 3 drops to turn yellow
- Nitrate: 0 ppm
- Ammonia: 0 ppm
- Phosphate: 0 ppm
- Powerhead and carbon+ceramic media filter rated up to 20 gal. 20 inches below tank
- Flex Mini LED light @ 11 hours total ON with two 30 minute rests
- In-line heater at 68 F
- CO2 tank on during light phase at 1 bubble per 3 seconds, output positioned under outflow.
- Twinstar Nano Reactor (M3) (looks pretty but doesn't seem to affect algae)
- Amazonia substrate, plus small amount of sand for root anchoring
- Dwarf Hair Grass
- Dwarf Baby Tears
- Ludwigia sp Red
- Eel grass
- Fertilizer is Do!aqua "Be Green" daily trace minerals and potassium
- Have also experimented with adding GH and KH
I've tried varying: photoperiod, CO2 level, fertilizer, temperature, PH, even adding waste material to invigorate the biocycle--so far nothing works. Photoperiod seems too long at 11 hours, but this doesn't seem to explain the yellowing of plants--shouldn't they be thriving given sufficient nutrients and CO2?
After exploring so many variables, my remaining suspicions are:
1) Flex Mini is said by LFS and others to provide of light for a 5 gal cube, but is LED so difficult to measure--maybe it's not actually sufficient (despite long photoperiod)
2) Pump is positioned under tank by about 20 inches for aesthetic reasons--maybe flow is diminished? Looks okay and pump is rated for 4x
3) Maybe I'm using the wrong fertilizer? Not adding something needed?
Any feedback or advice would be greatly appreciated.