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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey what is going on everyone, first time poster, long time lurker! I recently started up a new 162 gallon planted tank (200g including sump) on March 12 and one of my dreams has always been to have a large lush carpet covering a bunch of the tank.

Unfortunately, the dwarf hairgrass (Eleocharis Parvula) isn't doing too hot. The tank is in the middle of it's cycle hence the explosion in diatoms and it's been slowly going away on its own. It's been about three weeks now of the plants being added and the tank being filled with water. As you can see, a lot of the DHG has just completely browned and some of it has algae growing on it which I periodically remove. Some of the DHG is growing and spreading runners but not really thriving, I know it takes some time for DHG to root itself and spread, but I would've expected things to look better than they do now.

Flourish Root Tabs are spread around evenly every few inches (Substrate is inert black sand)
Pressurized CO2 diffused with a Reactor connected directly to the pump. CO2 Turns on at 2PM and off at 11:30PM. Takes quite a few hours for the drop checker to go green but I see it slowly changing to green throughout the day.
Fluval Plant 3.0 Light on at 4PM (1hr ramp up) then off at 12AM (1hr ramp down) at 70% intensity
Air Stones on at 1AM then off at 1:30PM
Thrive All-In-One Ferts being used to supplement (Started dosing on March 19)
50% Water Change once a week (was doing anyways and as directed by Thrive). During my water change I remove as much algae as possible and trim the DHG to try and promote spreading, I trim the completely browned areas as low as possible to try and remove as much dead organic material as possible.

Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0.25
Nitrate - 40
GH - 8
KH - 4
TDS - 224
Ph Co2 On - 6.8
Ph Co2 Off - 7.8

Any insight or help would be appreciated, thanks!

1,802 Posts
welcome to the forum. I think you need to remain patient and stay the course. DHG takes a lot longer than people expect to fill in. I’m not exactly sure how much light it is getting but I do see some runners at the front of the tank so it is doing its thing. When you trim it as aggressively as you are, I’m not sure that is helping it’s growth right now since it isn’t established yet. Did this DHG come from cultures? Some of those clusters look dead and gone.

IME once the DHG starts spreading more rampantly then I find it a better time to trim the poorer looking leaves, but giving it a buzz cut right off the bat can make it more prone to algae taking over the plant and plaguing its health. Diatoms also will take advantage of your light....sometimes hobbyists think that because it is brown that it doesn’t photosynthesize, but they are wrong. Regardless, if the diatoms start to get out of hand, reducing the light intensity will help if it doesn’t eventually go away.

stay patient and welcome again.
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