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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!
I'm attempting to carpet DHG in my first planted tank. It's a 140 liter tank that's been running for 19 weeks, fish added at week 9. Upgraded lights and co2 last month to Fugeray planted+ and a pressurized system. I'm still playing with the amount of co2. Ferts are Seachem comprehensive once a week, may need to upgrade to twice a week since I also upgraded the lights and co2? Seachem's root tabs are underneath my root feeders and parts of the DHG to see if it made a difference. Substrate is sadly just Petsmart gravel, biggest flaw of this tank. I recently uprooted the DHG to sepereate into smaller sections, I started with bigger clumps:\.

Plants are: Amazon sword, crypt lutea, s. repens, hygrophila corymbosa (recently bought emersed so it's transitioning), anacharis (bought to fight algae), Java moss on driftwood, and DHG. And eventually tiger lotus and hygrophila difformis.
Fish are: 3 juvi angels, 5 harlequin rasboras
Levels are: pH-7.7, ammonia and nitrite-0, nitrate-0-5 Water is on the harder side, and I do not have a test kit for the phosphate or any other elements.

Since I'm a nooby at planted tanks, I'm still trying to figure out the "balance" for my tank, I think I dove head first into the hobby getting all the nice equipment without completely understanding this concept. So here's my question! What can I do to help my DHG grow? Am I missing micros or macros that I need to dose? Not enough light reaching the grass? Apparently my light has 55 PAR from 17", tanks 19" tall. Do I just need to get this balance in order? Maybe I should go for dwarf sag or micro sword since they need less light?

Side note: I do have different kinds of algae but each in small portions (i.e some green spot on glass, diatoms on substrate in areas, some black stuff on my driftwood). That's why I'm still playing with the co2 levels and the fert dosing.

Thanks all for the help!
 

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For my DHG I literally stuck It in gravel in my low tech tanks. No co2 either. Low lighting. Always grew like a charm for me and still is!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick replies!

I've been trying to read up on it a lot and it seems people are 50/50 on DHG. People have said they've never been able to grow it, have tried hard but still no results. And then people have said it's rather simple. I'm just conflicted on why I haven't seen much if any growth on it.
 

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If you are only dosing seachem comp then you are very likely to be missing a lot of nutrients. read into this further

DHG will carpet over a handful of months as long as it has good CO2 and decent light/ferts
 

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You probably are missing out on macros: nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K); Flourish comp is traces only and doesn't really provide these. If you have a decent bio-load (lots of fish), you may not need to add much N or P, but you probably do need to add K. Depending on how heavily planted your tank is and what method you use, recommended dosing is anywhere from 10 - 40 ppm N and K, and 1 - 4 ppm P per week, with a 50% water change weekly. I target getting to 20 ppm N and 2 ppm P before a water change, and I currently don't need to dose to get those levels. If your tank is the same or higher, you probably don't need to add them, but maybe think about adding 10-20 ppm K per week in addition to your traces. You can do this with K2SO4 or Flourish Potassium.

Also, if your water is extremely soft (like < 2 dKH), it can limit plant growth, but that is rarely a problem with tap water. If using RO/DI, you need to re-mineralize it.

-Justin
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Have you looked to see what the specs were on the people who could grow it/ couldn't?
Yes, most have said DHG needs highlighting and favors co2. I'll see if I can't find any specifics on the ferts it likes!
Thanks for the reply!

Bump:
If you are only dosing seachem comp then you are very likely to be missing a lot of nutrients. read into this further

DHG will carpet over a handful of months as long as it has good CO2 and decent light/ferts
I'm thinking that's my biggest issue (other than not having nutrient rich soil of course). I will read into it a little more and maybe start dosing macros!
Thanks for the reply!

Bump:
You probably are missing out on macros: nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K); Flourish comp is traces only and doesn't really provide these. If you have a decent bio-load (lots of fish), you may not need to add much N or P, but you probably do need to add K. Depending on how heavily planted your tank is and what method you use, recommended dosing is anywhere from 10 - 40 ppm N and K, and 1 - 4 ppm P per week, with a 50% water change weekly. I target getting to 20 ppm N and 2 ppm P before a water change, and I currently don't need to dose to get those levels. If your tank is the same or higher, you probably don't need to add them, but maybe think about adding 10-20 ppm K per week in addition to your traces. You can do this with K2SO4 or Flourish Potassium.

Also, if your water is extremely soft (like < 2 dKH), it can limit plant growth, but that is rarely a problem with tap water. If using RO/DI, you need to re-mineralize it.

-Justin
Thanks for the reply justin!
I think since I upgraded my tank from basically a low light to a medium high set up and didn't also upgrade my ferts, this has impacted my DHG based on what you all are saying. I'll have to get a test kit to know my phosphate and potassium levels and I'll dose accordingly!

Bump: Does anyone know if dwarf hairgrass favors iron? If needed I can dose extra as well
 

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I don't think iron will be an issue with DHG

Good substrate will help out a lot. I have a carpet in blasting sand in my larger high tech tank but do not doubt that if I had something like ADA aquasoil it would have carpeted much faster. Once it is noticeably spreading it will start to take off. If it is just stuck there not doing anything then you have issues. Maybe pull a tiny plug out to see if it is even attempting to send out runners just for peace of mind.

Also be wary that grass sometimes needs to settle in before it decides to really start sending out runners. Took me a solid month or so before mine started to do too much. After a certain point it noticeably took off
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't think iron will be an issue with DHG

Good substrate will help out a lot. I have a carpet in blasting sand in my larger high tech tank but do not doubt that if I had something like ADA aquasoil it would have carpeted much faster. Once it is noticeably spreading it will start to take off. If it is just stuck there not doing anything then you have issues. Maybe pull a tiny plug out to see if it is even attempting to send out runners just for peace of mind.

Also be wary that grass sometimes needs to settle in before it decides to really start sending out runners. Took me a solid month or so before mine started to do too much. After a certain point it noticeably took off
Since this is my first tank, I've made a lot of mistakes that I've learned from, substrate being one of them! But hey that's the fun of this hobby, I'm always learning:)
I looked up what my actual substrate is, it's national geos crystal lake aquarium sand. It's been 3 weeks since I uproot it to sepereate it more so maybe that process stunned it. I'll do as you suggested and pull up one or two to check for runners.
Thanks for all the advice!
 
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