I have a very small planted 25 litre tank that I started a month to have a go at a planted tank in the view to having some shrimps later on. After a lot of research, I set out and purchased a buffering substrate (Dennerle Scaper's Soil 4L Shrimp & Plants) and some Salty Shrimp GH+ due to the need of keeping the PH low.
Where i am struggling is with cycling the tank and think I may have made the errors with using RO with GH+ to early?
For background, I am using an all-in-one fertiliser containing:--
1.5 ppm Nitrate
0.4 ppm Phosphate
1.6 ppm Potassium
0.2 ppm Magnesium
And I add 2ml per day as per the instructions provided (5ml per 40l).
The plants are growing well and have added a nano CO2 system controlled by a solenoid that comes on 1hr (Morning) and 30mins (Evening) before the light comes on/off - Light is on from 12pm until 6pm (6hrs). The drop checker is green and was yellow to start with until i adjusted the levels.
My Plants consist of:
Cryptocoryne wendtii Kompakt
Alternanthera reineckii Mini
Helanthium tenellum Broad Leaf
Plus a couple of Anbius'.
I am also ghost feeding the tank with flakes and did for a while produce ammonia, but added some stability to help grow the good bacteria.
The lasted tests have come out too good to be true:-
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = 0
PH = 6.0-6.1
TDS - 180-190
KH = 0
GH = 8
I know why the KH is at 0 due to only using the GH+ powder, but has the tank really cycled and ready for shrimps, or do I need to increase the PH and other parameters to cycle as I'm also seeing an increase in hair green algae.
My guess is I've made some error in the early water stages and have seen on another thread that it should be cycled with tap water and then brought to where you want it to be?
Also, i'm aware that shrimps and CO2 don't mix too well, but other have had success in keeping them? I'm not worried too much about breeding, but as its only 25l, fish are out of the question?
Thanks in advance!
Just to add, am I right in thinking the reason for the GHA is lack of Nitrate?