New plants in new tank- beautiful but fading
I just set up a new tank and got some new plants last weekend. They are gorgeous. I got:
Ludwigia Peruensis Red
-Dwarf baby tears
-Temple (narrow leaves)
My tank situation:
-29 gallon tank (30" x 13" x 18")
-Fish: none yet
-1 T5HO light fixture with two 24-watt bulbs
-CO2 tank and diffuser
-Aqueon Quietflow 30 filter. I had a new cartridge in there, but today I switched it for a used cartridge from my other tank so that I can add fish this weekend.
-Gravel with natural iron in it
-Flourish Nitrogen fertilizer
-pH 8-8.2 without the CO2; pH 7.2 with the CO2
-KH: seems to be about 107.4 ppm (though this is the first time I have ever measured kh, and I am not sure how yellow the kit expects it to turn, so I am not sure) (it took me 6 drops of solution to get to the yellow color needed for the test.
-GH: 89.5 ppm
-CO2 concentration: A guy at an aquarium store gave me a chart, and it only goes up to 20.0 on the KH scale, so I don't know. Using the 6 drops needed to turn the solution yellow (6), it would seem that the CO2 level is 12 ppm, which the chart says is too high. Since I JUST checked this, I will turn down the CO2 a little bit. I do NOT have any fish in the tank yet.
Today I noticed that the coloring of some of the plants is fading, especially on the ludwigia peruensis red. I spent a lot of money on my plants, so I am especially invested in these plants doing well. (In my other tank, which is low tech, I have plants that I want to do well, but I am not very attentive to because they are more prone to dying, so I just use root tabs and trim on occasion.) Since I just learned that I might have too much CO2 based on these tests (if I am interpreting the CO2 concentration chart correctly), I will lower the level of CO2. I also ordered another 48-watt T5HO light fixture, which will be here on Wednesday, I think. Is there anything else that I should be doing for my plants?
Also, is it safe to add fish this weekend?
Thank you for your help!