I've posted on here a couple of times, but have since been busy with getting settled in to college. I originally wanted a 29g biocube, but realized there was no way in hell I'd be able to keep up with it financially (after all, I am a broke college student
), so I settled for just keeping a Tetra Crescent 5g for my betta.
All in all, the tank's pretty good. I'm using a little over half a 20lb bag of Eco-complete, and have it planted with water wisteria, Rotala rotoundifolia, Hygrophilia sp. (not sure the species - I think
it's dwarf, but if anyone could ID it for me when I post pictures in a bit I'd really appreciate it), a little clump of java moss floating around somewhere, some Anubias nana, and dwarf hairgrass.
The tank originally came with a cruddy 16-LED light, but it was hardly giving anything off, so I switched it out for a clip-on 13w (6400K) flourescent light that really makes it brighter. I had a piece of unsoaked driftwood in their for a couple of days (employee either lied or was wrong about it being pre-soaked >_>) but took it out to soak in a bucket when the water started to look like coffee.
Now here's where things are tricky: I'm relatively new to plants - I've been doing as much research as I can in my spare time, but I'm not that knowledgeable on plant diseases/deficiencies. My hygro looks awful - its leaves are really transparent, yellowish brown, and bits and pieces break off every time I have to reach into the tank. The rotala doesn't look like it's doing too well, either, and the anubias is getting some yellowing and browning in some spots. It also had some sort of... rotting or damage to part of the rhizome and a whole bunch of leaves (some looking perfectly green) just fell off when I changed the water. I just planted everything some 5 days ago, so I'm not surprised if they just need to recover from the trauma of being moved, but I'm just wondering if I'm not doing things right.
The tank is cycling, so things are shaky as far as water parameters go. pH is between 7.4 and 7.6. Since the cycle just started, there's not a lot of nitrites/ates. Water temp's around 80F. Since it's such a small tank it's hard to dose accurately, but I was given a dosing chart from Preuss Pets (wonderful lfs here in Michigan) for Flourish, Flourish Excel, and Iron. According to that I need to dose .8 ml (0.2 cap) of Flourish every two days, 1ml (0.2 cap) of Excel every day, and 1ml (0.2 cap) of Iron every day. Maybe it's... a nitrogen deficiency? Since the tank's only been set up less than a week, there wouldn't be a lot of nitrates to feed them, would there? Or maybe I didn't trim them properly?
All in all, here are my man questions. Are these dosage instructions correct? Do I need to do any pruning/replanting of anything? Am I missing a fertilizer? Or is this just normal and I'm freaking out? XD
I'll post pictures in a bit.