Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Forest City ON, Canada
Elbow grease should help this out, here is what I would do:
Run lights for 5 hours a day max. Start CO2 2 hours before the lights come on, and run it right up until the lights go out. Do this when you are home from work / school so you can enjoy the tank.
Begin adjusting CO2 way up, a few drops per minute is no where near enough CO2. Which CO2 kit do you have? That drop checker is blue in your picture, I would work towards getting it to a lime green colour over the next few weeks. Yo u have quite a lot of surface agitation with the filter and wave maker, so It may require a lot of CO2 to get that drop checker into the green.
Ammonia is from the dirt, .25ppm probably isn't horrible, just keep an eye on it until you don't have any ammonia present. Also keep performing water changes as needed to keep the fresh dirt and ammonia at bay.
I would look into a complete water column dosing program. Something like PPS-Pro should work out well with the dirted substrate.
I would also source a whole bunch more plants, even if they aren't the ones you are looking for long term. Fill out that tank as best you can to help use up what the dirt is leaching initially. Sell off the plants you don't want long term as the ones you do want become available to you.
RO water needs to be remineralized as well.
1.0 degrees of kH using KHCO3 is a good start.
30ppm Ca using CaSO4 is a good start.
10 - 15ppm Mg using MgSO4 is a good start.
Head over to rotalabutterfly.com / nutrient calculator to help you determine how much to add to reach a certain goal.
Best of luck, looks like you have all the framework ready for a nice looking tank!
"No Ice? Just Freeze Some Water"
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