I re-tested my water using the API kit instead of the strips after the strips started giving me a reading below 6. Both me and my housemate looked at it and with the API kit, the pH reading was 6.8.
This is my parameters:
pH of tapwater = 7
Substrate = Black Sand from PetSmart (National Geographic)
Water Lettuce, Water Wisteria, S. Repens, Java Moss, 2 Unknown Bulb Pack Plants, Anubias, Moss Ball, Anachuris/Elodea, Taiwan Moss I am trying to grow out, a Couple of Strands of Hornwort (I stupidly threw most of it out because it was getting on my nerves), Lemon Bacopa
2 African Dwarf Frogs
4 Black Skirt Tetras
2 Julii Corys
3 Rummy Nose Tetras (These were my suicide fish I tested the tank with after my initial cycling and they didn't die - oh well).
2 Assassin Snails
Filter = Aqueon Quiet Flow 30 (I think this is actually too much flow as it blows my unknown plant)
According to Aqadvisor my stocking is at 74%. I am also below schooling levels. I meant to increase the black skirt tetra, but those rummynoses didn't die and so I keep meaning to give those back to the pet store but now I am used to them.
I have a 15.8 gallon tank. I would like a carpet and I also would like to have so many plants that I can barely see the fish.
Decor = small driftwood that is shaped like a bridge; this has java moss attached to it - which is currently bubbling and I have no idea why. It is very strange.
= small driftwood on which I am trying to grow Taiwan Moss
= 3 small really smooth stones (for the little frogs and their sensitive skin) against which S. Repens is growing
= a Small piece of slate that a piece of driftwood is resting on
= one of those mini terra cotta pots for the frogs to hide in (Cory cats go in there too)
I am trying to use minimal decoration and mostly use plants.
I am very unhappy about this. I believe I just need to get some hornwort and suck up stuff.
I think I also have a nutrient deficiency for the wisteria due to the paling of some leaves in the past couple of days and need some root tabs. (?)
I am using the light that came with the tank (36 LEDs in the aquarium hood). I am trying to run a low tech set up. I feed fish every night and feed the frogs their little bloodworms every other night. Whatever the frogs don't get, the Julii cory cats surely do. (This is actually the reason I got the cory cats - before I found myself sucking up non-eaten bloodworms at times).
I still don't know why the moss is suddenly bubbling.
I may need a UV sterilizer yes?
I do not dose at all, or add anything except the food already mentioned. Since this is a new tank, I test levels about every day. General hardness is particularly hard today, while carbonate hardness is way down.
The picture is what the tank looked like before i added plants. It was taken Friday. And actually the wisteria is even bigger now. Geesh. I had crystal clear water. Yesterday, added plants because I was testing a "1" for nitrite and now I have a mess.
I do 15-20% water changes about every other day to two days. I think I am ... too into it. I just get worried if I test for any ammonia (0.25) or nitrite at all. There is considerable ammonia in my tapwater, so I am actually wondering if I am doing more harm than good with water changes (I use Prime).