This tank was donated to me/my work place last August, and it's magic. Beautiful, full of life, and just lovely. The prior owner gave me the whole set-up, so we drained it 3/4 of the way, put it in my Traverse, and drove carefully a couple miles across town to my workplace, where we set it all back up immediately. It had a smattering of leftover fish that hadn't passed yet due to old age, and a bunch of red cherry shrimp. The tank now holds a couple of the leftover tetras, some otos & a twig catfish, a dozen(ish) male guppies, a decent handful of snails, and a million shrimp.
Though I now take care of about 10 other tanks regularly, this 29 gallon is the biggest, and has the most amazing plants (not surprising, since most of the other tanks are younger). That said, the plant on the left (cyperus helferi, I believe, after extensive online searching and a look at the available plants at PetSmart, which is where the owner bought his setup) is...not doing well. The prior owner taught me to cut the tops off when they got too tall, but I've since learned this is not what you are supposed to do, and I think the nutrient change, and possibly the flow rate from the filter (since I started cleaning it MUCH more frequently) has thrown it off. It's worth noting I've started dosing Easy Green from aquarium co-op in the last month, but I haven't seen much difference yet. Maybe I need root tabs for this plant instead? The crypts certainly seem to get all the nutrients they need!
This first picture shows the plant in early December -- I had just cut it down the way I had been told to, and was cleaning the filter for the first time (he had said to do it once every 3 months...after this I started doing it monthly).
The second picture is in mid January, I removed several of the sideshoots to put in other tanks (and to try to get rid of some of the dying bits, which you cannot see in this pic), and the crypt that had been tiny (between the Cyperus Helferi) before has started to grow in size.
This third picture is today. I've since removed a dozen or two dozen more sideshoots/baby plants, and though I'm still seeing new growth, the stuff in the middle that is the tallest is still completely crummy looking...
The last pic is a closeup so you can actually see what I'm talking about (my apologies for all the pics being at the bottom -- I don't know how to insert them in the text *sigh* )
So now I'm contemplating messing with this almost-perfect (for me, anyway) tank some more, and ripping the entire plant out, removing all the dead stuff, strand by strand, and then replanting it. I just don't know what else to do! Or maybe I should pull out those 2 crypts that are taking over the area, instead? I could easily put them in another tank.
Am I crazy? Will I kill it all together? Can I even reach it (I'm only 5'1" lol)?!
Please, give me courage! And advice!
I'm so afraid to do something to ruin this amazing tank!
inert substrate (or it is by now, if it wasn't before -- the tank is at least 5 years old, I think)
light is a finnex 20 watt LED
ph drops fairly low in my tanks -- 6.2 sometimes, though when nitrates are higher it seems the pH is often 6.8? My KH is often hard to even detect, and GH is...75-150? This is similar to my home tanks, and aged tap water, IIRC.
no ammonia or nitrite that I've noticed in recent history, nitrates usually in the 20ish area, though they were up to 80 before I introduced the frogbit, the HOB filter with the bamboo, and started doing an extra 30% water change every 1-2 weeks (instead of just 1/week).
I do not have my testing kit with me at work (and haven't convinced the boss to pony up for one yet, lol), so I cannot give exact #s today. I can bring it in tomorrow if it is really needed.