struggling with my tank--advice needed!
I hate writing threads like this, but I'm really at a loss for what to do with my tank. This is not my first planted tank setup, but after a series of failures, I'm feeling like a noob again! I could really use some direction.
The biggest problem is that nothing seems to want to grow. I have tried planting DHG several times (both Top Fin in the gel and submerged pots from a LFS). I split up the plants into small plugs about the diameter of a pencil or less. I have tried planting them directly and then trimmed them a week later. I have also trimmed them and then planted them.
I have done this probably three times and every time, the plants melt back and never send up new blades. I've dug around and anything I find has no new growth and basically just falls apart. Even the hydrocotyle I added to soak up the excess ferts got covered with algae and never showed new growth--and that has always grown like a weed!
What is really frustrating is that the DHG was my backup plan. I originally tried to dry start some HC that I had been growing. I had a tanks worth and it all melted away.
Here are my specs. Please let me know if I've left anything out!
Tank: 17 gallons
Lighting: Aquaticlife t5HO, 2 x 6500k, 11 inches above tank
Substrate: ADA Aquasoil Amazonia with ADA additives, Seachem root tabs, and reused powersand
Filtration: Eheim 2217
CO2: pressurized with Rex Grigg-style reactor
Fauna: otocinclus and a dozen small tetras
2 ml excel/day, three times a week alternating micro/macro: 1/8 tsp KNO3, 1/32 tsp KH2PO4, 1/32 K2SO4, 1/32 tsp CSM + B
water parameters at end of EI week: