Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Rockford(the one in Illinois!)
Ground cover help
Ok.. hoping you all can help me figure out where to best direct some money. I have one 10 gallon tank that I keep and I've had fairly good success with. Over the years I've torn in down and rebuilt it from scratch a couple times and always been able to grow almost anything I want. EXCEPT groundcover. I've tried them all.. glosso, HC, dwarf hairgrass, microsword.. and the same result each time. They grow up a little but eventually each clump dies or floats away. They never carpet. I've attached a picture of what it looks like currently for reference.
Current setup. Two 26 Watt spiral CFL's with the stock reflectors in a stock hood. DIY CO's with a Hagen container(I mix my own). I use the Seachem liquid nutrients.. NPK, plus Iron, Excel, and Flourish. Generally I only dose once a week.. sometimes twice. I work out of town so I just can't do anymore than that. 30% WC weekly. Penguin 100 filter. Water chemistry is pretty good though I fight stubbornly high nitrates. Tank usually has anywhere from 1-5 tetras, snails, and 0-10 shrimp. I would like to stabilize those numbers but I've been fighting some die off as well(guessing also the stubbornly high nitrates).
So the question is.. if I'm willing to spend some money where is it best directed to likely ensure success with ground covers and get good growth. I aspire to the jungle like look of some of the tanks on here. My very uneducated guess is light is holding me back. I was thinking I would get the Odysea quad T5 HO fixture. 72 watts with no loss due to spiral. However is there a better move? Is my CO2 too lacking, is the fact that I can't dose more than once or twice a week going to always be an issue? Do I pack it in and admit I'm never going to have ground cover?
Thanks for the time to read and give your thoughts.