Yet another hairgrass carpet question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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Yet another hairgrass carpet question

Hi all,

I've been trying unsuccessfully for about a year now to carpet dwarf hairgrass, but by Christ I will not give up! I'm totally puzzled as to what I'm doing wrong and it seems no amount of tinkering and reading will solve my woes, so I've hopped on to post to ask the experts.

Some facts;
  • Tank is 180L (47.5 US gallons)
  • I've got a very low lying scape that doesn't affect flow much at all.
  • The spray bar runs the length of the back of the tank and is pointing across the surface, to move water down the front glass.
  • Filter is a TetraTec Ex1200 (heater and diffuser are inline).
  • My substrate is Colombo Flora-Base with API root tabs.
  • I'm pumping pressurized CO2 from a fire extinguisher set up, and the drop checker is usually a blue to green. It's not as high as possible as I'm worried about annihilating my livestock.
  • I have two Arcadia J5 Plant Pro Lamp - 45W 36". A total of 90W (1.89wpg). These are about 3 inches above the water level in the hood.
  • I dose 15ml Neutro+ (recommended 20ml per 200L) daily.
  • I dose 4ml of liquid CO2 daily.
  • I have no algae problems.

I have tried trimming the HG really low, but this doesn't seem to make a difference. The clumps that are in there have no problems growing vertically, but throw out very few runners.

I'm totally stuck guys. What should I do?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 12:24 AM
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Welcome!

Pictures would be helpful.

Is there anything shading the DHG? Do you have any other plants in there? More CO2 certainly would speed things up. I've grown DHG in a low tech tank and it just kind of stood there as you are describing. On the other hand, with high CO2, EI and moderate light(a little less then what you have) it sent runners out pretty aggressively. Increasing CO2 is kind of a personal choice though I suppose.

I'm not familiar with Neutro+ so can't comment on that.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 01:10 AM
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Ive got 2.6 watts per gallon and a simlar fertilizing regime and mine isnt carpeting either. My suggestion is get more watts. It appears everything else your doing is right. How deep is that tank? Having your lights closer to your carpeting plants may be helpful too.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 01:16 AM
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My current experience will differ to yours due to the water volume and depth. My DHG is shooting out runners left and right after 9 days after setting up. Right now I'm over injecting CO2 (2-3 bubbles per minute) as well as dosing a half cap of excel daily. I don't have inhabitant concerns right now as I'm focusing on the plant growth. Once the DHG carpets and my foreground plants explode I'll cut back CO2 and focus on fauna. If you're goal is a DHG carpet you might want to overdose CO2 and focus on fauna later.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 01:43 AM
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IMO I think u need higher light and good 20-30 ppm co2.

Trimming from time to time also helps growth

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Last edited by houbanna; 04-30-2014 at 01:45 AM. Reason: edit
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 01:58 AM
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I used to have regular DHG and am expecting Belem in the mail sometime eventually. I think you need more co2. If the drop checker is leaving your levels at a blue to green color, it'll be better to raise the amount of co2 in the tank. A good lime green color should be fine. Unless you have fish that require highly oxygenated waters, you should be fine. Trimming will also help your DHG since it'll promote the growth of new runners.

I had a good 2.3 watts that the DHG grew under. You should try to increase the amount of light that the plants are getting.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 05:15 AM
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funny cuz i have a clump of dhg in my low tech med light 75g in the back and its growing just fine.

75 Gallon Low Tech w/ Green Terror Pair
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philipraposo1982 View Post
funny cuz i have a clump of dhg in my low tech med light 75g in the back and its growing just fine.
Yeah, I havent found it to be a super high light plant myself. I find all the suggestions of more light a bit odd.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot for the responses guys.

Here's a photo;
http://i60.tinypic.com/azcmly.jpg

As you can see, there's nothing shadowing the HG. It's looking very scarce at the moment because I've just trimmed it all down to hopefully encourage runners. There are no other plants that could be hogging nutes, apart from a bit of rogue moss that seems to have managed to transfer from when the tank was broken down before.

I can't move the lights any closer as they're on the hood and are already bang on top of the water when the tank's full. The lights were recommended to me by Richard at Aqua Essentials, so they're definitely decent.

I'll try and up the CO2 and maybe increase the photo period. Perhaps I should be more regimented with the trimming so that it never has the opportunity to grow taller.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 02:13 PM
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Two questions for you:

1) What is a fire extinguisher setup? At least in the US fire extinguishers are more that CO2, so this is confusing.

2) What is your temp at? I have a temp flux throughout the day of 7-8 degrees (warmer) when my lights are on. (70-78 degree F range)


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archerofthemoon View Post
Two questions for you:

1) What is a fire extinguisher setup? At least in the US fire extinguishers are more that CO2, so this is confusing.

2) What is your temp at? I have a temp flux throughout the day of 7-8 degrees (warmer) when my lights are on. (70-78 degree F range)
Hey,

Fire extinguisher consists of;
CO2 fire extinguisher > solanoid regulator > non return valve > bubble counter > inline CO2 diffuser + drop checker in tank

It's been running for a good year with no problems to the livestock, and I've read a lot of info of people setting them up.

In regards to the temperature, my inline heater is set at 23 degrees. I can't say if it's spiking, but as I live in Britain it certainly won't have got very hot in the room in the last 6 months.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 10:02 PM
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How do you keep the fire extinguisher in an 'open' state? This is interesting.


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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archerofthemoon View Post
How do you keep the fire extinguisher in an 'open' state? This is interesting.
The solenoid reg keeps it closed/open, so I just ductape the handle of the fire extinguisher open. Easy peasy.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 10:14 PM
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Interesting
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