Hey guys, six weeks in since setting up my first high tech planted tank and things are going fairly well. Got over my first algae outbreak two to three weeks ago by dialing back the photo period, decreasing the lighting intensity, reducing the fertilizer dose and dosing algae fix. All the plants that I've planted in the tank are doing fairly well. They've all shown new growth and a few of my plants have needed to be trimmed a few times. My Dwarf Hairgrass and Micro Sword are also sending out runners and seem to be carpeting nicely. I am concerned though that a few of my plants might be showing nutrient deficiencies, and I plan to ramp up my dosing regiment by next week. I've been slowly increasing the lighting period and intensity, right now I'm at 90% intensity both satellite plus pro fixtures with no algae outbreaks. I've had fish in the tank for the past two weeks and things have been going alright there.
This is my tank 6 weeks in.
There are three things I'm looking for advice on though.
First is growing my Hemianthus Callitrichoides "Dwarf Baby Tears" carpet. All my other carpeting plants are thriving in my tank, including my Lilaeopsis Brasiliensis "Micro Sword", and Eleocharis parvula "Dwarf Hairgrass". Both those plants are sending out runners, but the HC isn't really carpeting and seems to be reaching for the light. In the beginning my Co2 was fairly consistent, but last week I almost gassed my fish because my Co2 tank was almost empty and made the bubble count increase to dangerous levels right before the tank ran out of Co2. So I had to turn down the Co2, then it took me three days to get the tank refilled. I've since bought up a backup tank to avoid this situation in the future. My HC wasn't really carpeting before that though, but it was pearling before I turned the lights down. I had to the light down at 50% for two weeks when I was dealing with algae. There are two different areas where I planted the HC, one spot in the foreground and another spot towards the left of the tank near the output. it seems to be doing better near the outflow where the Co2 comes out then where I planted it in the foreground but neither area seems to be sending out runners.
A few pictures of my HC. =(
The other issue with my HC is that I have one Cory Catfish, I think he's pulling up a lot of my HC, but I didn't introduce any fish in my tank until four weeks in, and all of my other plants where rooted in well enough to not get uprooted like the HC. I'm thinking it was might planting technique? I planted the HC right after I inserted the substrate and then put in enough water just to make the substrate damp. Even then I had a lot of HC float out of the substrate. I even used the ADA Aquasoil powder type to help keep the HC rooted but it didn't seem to work. I'm willing to buy some more HC and give this another shot, any ideas? My fiance doesn't want me to pull the cory catfish out of the tank unfortunately. =(
Here's the tank on day one, notice how much of the HC I've lost.
My second question is regarding my Aponogeton Longiplumulosus, and my other sword plants in the tank. How do I go about trimming sword plants without making it look ugly? It's easy enough to trim stem plants, but trimming off half a leaf seems like it'd make the plant look ugly.
My final question is again in regards to my sword plants showing a possible nutrient deficiency. On certain parts of the leaves the leaf just seems to shrivel up on itself and turn black, but the main stem of the leaf is still alive and the the rest of the body of the leaf above that area still seems to be okay. Is this a nutrient deficiency, and if so what nutrient? Right now I'm dosing Thrive + 4mLs twice a week. Next week I want to increase the dose to maybe 4mLs three times a week. The full recommended EI dose as per the directions for my 29g is going to be 6mLs(three pumps) three times a week. Is this really a nutrient deficiency I'm dealing with though, or something else? I've got ADA Aquasoil Amazonia as my substrate. I figured reducing my dosing regiment for 2-3 weeks would just result in slower growth, not issues like this.
One of my sword plants with the aforementioned possible nutrient deficiency.
Overall I've really enjoyed setting this tank up and seeing things take off. Things where a little scary there for a week or two with the hair algae, but I learned a lot from the experience and now I've only got a little green dust algae in the tank. Hopefully I can figure things out with the Dwarf Baby Tears but other thent hat I'd call this tank a success at this point!