New to plants, could use some tips!
Hey everyone, first off thanks a bundle for such a wonderful website!
So I've had a 30 gallon tank up for about 7 months now, and back in Dec my tap water starting testing high-ish for nitrates (10-20ppm). Researching ways to cut this down other than the weekly 30% changes I do, I decided to get a few plants, since I've only heard great things. I picked up 2 anubias (not sure on the genus, I got it from petsmart) and a java fern. Fast forward to today, I picked up another 3 anubias, all different, but later photos will show their details (I'm about to go to bed, no time to post).
Tank has 6 zebra danios, 1 panda cory, 1 peppered cory, and 1 mystery snail.
Anyways, I'd like a few pointers on how I'm doing. It's a 30 gallon tank, and I replaced the current light with a 20w 6700k growth bulb from Petsmart. I have it on a timer from 10am-7pm, and very dim DIY LED's give the fish some moon light at night. I mixed Laterite into my normal gravel substrate and planted my stuff in the following ways
-3 Anubias rubber banded to rock, roots in gravel, rhizome above.
-Java fern is in 4 groups, each one only has 2 leaves, but they are tied to a piece of fake driftwood.
-Other two anubias are rubber banded to a fake tree trunk, and the other is stuck in with some fake plastic growth on a fake rock (FAKE FAKE FAKE UGH!)
My apartment also faces south and the tank probably gets a bit of indirect sunlight. Also I have constantly been battling with brown algae on my rocks and tank walls, it grows only where light hits so I don't know what I should do to get rid of it. Hopefully my plants will eat more of the nutrients than they want.
1. How's my light and lighting schedule? This is cheap and low tech, with the main goal eliminating my nitrates
2. How far out of the gravel do my anubia rhizomes need to be. Right now they are sort of an eyesore since I am keeping all the rhizomes way above the gravel.
3. What are some cheap easy ways to improve the growth and health of these plants? I've read a bit about DIY Co2, Flourish, etc.
I don't want crazy growth, I'd just like nice healthy plants in my tank. My fish definitely are loving them, they swim through them all the time and my cory's clean the anubias. Please ask me some questions if you want!