First, let me say thank you to anyone who reads this all the way through – my journey of trying to get a healthy, vibrant planted tank. I’ve been at this for a few years and have yet to achieve it and am literally out of ideas.
I have a 65G Community Tank, well established and has been for about 2 years. I’ve been trying to get it to be semi-heavily planted progressing through everything (substrate, lights, fert) up to compressed CO2 over those two years and I can’t get anything to take hold. Plants either don’t grow at all or they will show new growth and the old growth dwindles, usually this ends in the leaves falling off after discoloring and thinning. Over the course of those 2 years, I’ve started with adding nothing. From there I’ve added ferts, more lighting and now CO2. CO2 has only been running for 3 weeks and other than a new round of algae and tons of bubbles in the tank, haven’t noticed much difference. I’ve turned off one of the lights at this point trying to reduce algae.
Here’s what’s happening with the most recent set of plants I have:
Jungle Val – this seems to do ok, it propagates runners but the leaves eventually start to thin and grow BBA
Amazon Sword – this grew well when I first planted it, then the leaves melted away and now it stunted and stalled. It sprouted some children but they’re also stalled.
Anubis – this is not dying, but not growing either
Anacharis – this will grow ok but is really more of a floating plant (since it doesn’t stay rooted for me) and will also grow BBA
Christmas Moss – I got some of this a long time ago, it did not do well for a long time but in the last 2 or 3 months has actually done quite well (I thought it was all gone and then it came back)
Algae – I have no trouble growing this. I’ve grown many different types and now, in addition to the green stuff on the glass (which honestly is not that bad) I have what I’m guessing is BBA on the mature plants (dark grey fuzz on the leaves of the plants) and this new dark, yet bright green web like algae that takes over the leaves (it’s done this on the moss, anacharis, substrate and even now the sponge filter).
Here are the specs I thought might help:
o 65G tank (this is a “high” tank so lighting has to go deeper)
o Seachem Flourite substrate
o EasyGreen all-in-one fert ( https://www.aquariumcoop.com/collect...=8147002392677
) – 6 pumps twice/week but I’ve backed off on this on occasion due to algae
o Lighting (https://www.fluvalaquatics.com/us/pr...4-34-61-85-cm/
) – the fluval was only added in the last 4 months, I haven’t been able to run both lights (even if not for the same length of time) for very long before algae start to become too much of a problem.
o CO2 – I’m using compressed CO2 and an inline diffuser, but want to change that since the tank looks silly after the bubbles come out of the spray bar (not sure how much is really dissolving). Bubble counter is probably 3-4 bps, and I noticed runs low on water much faster than I would have imagined though honestly have no idea what normal is here.
o I always have trouble measuring (or rather reading the results) of a test, but here’s what I get:
o Nitrates average about 40ppm based on my color reading skills
o Phosphates about 0.5 ppm
o Before CO2 in the morning:
• pH = 7.4
• GH = 160ppm
• KH = 70ppm
• Drop checker blue
o After CO2 and lights have been on for a few hours
• pH = 6.6
• GH = 180ppm
• KH = 90ppm
• Drop checker green
• Fish don't seem to notice (no change in behavior)