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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I'm a first time poster but big fan of this forum. Long form explanation below, but the question I have is has anyone successfully grown a dwarf hairgrass or HC carpet in ST International Aqua Soil?


I have a 12in cube aquarium that I have maintained for about a year and is my first attempt at a legit planted tank. The substrate in it is ST International Aqua Soil from Amazon.com. I also have pressurized CO2 from a paintball canister that runs 8 hours a day, and I dose with an array of Seachem products (Excel, Flourish, Trace, Potassium, Nitrogen, although I'll admit I'm not always diligent about dosing since I can't really see a difference in my plants when I forget/neglect dosing). I've tried and grown an array of plants over the last year: hydrocotyle japan grows like a weed and is currently my primary carpet plant, ranunculus inundates does pretty well, as do mosses, riccia grew TOO well so I had to get rid of it, and I've got HC tied to driftwood that does pretty good. Back when I started the tank I tried a baby tears carpet and also a dwarf hairgrass carpet, and the plants lived but never reproduced or carpeted.


Recently I went on a 9 day vacation, and sure enough my CO2 tank that had lasted me for months ran out during my trip. I came home and not only are my plants not doing very good, but there is now also algae (hair algae I think) all over everything.


During the recovery I'm considering transplanting my baby tears from the driftwood to the substrate to see if they will carpet and to clear my driftwood of algae. I'm also considering re-attempting the hairgrass carpet because I love the look of them. But I'm wondering if the reason I couldn't get HC/hairgrass to carpet in the substrate the first time is because of the granule size of the ST International (about 1/8" granules). I'm hesitant to change substrates to something like Amazonia Powder because I don't want to harm my fish or ruin my system. So has anyone ever grown a good hairgrass or HC carpet in ST International?


Thanks!


Jacob H.
 

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Check out my topic, it's right on top of your topic. "planted 7 gallon nano tank, advice welcome".
I'm using the exact substrate you are using and exact specie you mention--DHG.
You can wait one month and see my post if you want.
The tank has been set up for 1 week. CO2 has been set up today.
I kinda see some runner coming.
 

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Welcome to the forum! In the end your substrate is negligible if your dosing heavily, because the plants can get all their nutrients from the water column. It just provides a place for it to anchor down. From the photo as well the granules aren't that big.
Try the hairgrass again with your current substrate and see how it goes. I would look more closely at light, nutrients and CO2 as the root to any issues.
With CO2 back up the algae should recede as well. Reducing your light intensity or photo period may help, as well as just removing the algae with your hands.
How many gallons is your tank by the way?
Side note: Don't change to ADA Aquasoil with critters inside because it leeches ammonia.


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i dislike anything by stinternational
used their substrate, didn't like it, was rather cheap just like the price
used their atomizers, were more like diffusers
their products are cheap, so is the quality?

but yes like mentioned you will have to dose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the feedback.

To answer your question Opare it is about a 7.5 gallon tank.

After getting input I think I will try again with the ST International, but try to improve dosing.

One dosing challenge I've had is that my tank light is on from 1pm to 9pm but many days I don't get home from work until after 6pm and don't get around to dosing until after 7 or 8pm. I know that ideally you should dose right before/when the lights come on to minimize the amount that could get lost in the filter, so I'm kind of backwards right now. I may need to go to auto-dosing. There seem to be some cost effective auto-dosers out there. The biggest challenge I see there is managing the aesthetics of the dosing hoses.

I'll update after I re-attempt.

Thanks!
 

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I wouldn't worry tooooo much about when you dose it. Just make sure it's done. Especially if you're dosing EI amounts there will always be enough nutrient wise. By the way you don't really need to dose Excel since you use pressurised CO2. (You can use it to spot treat algae)
By the way, it's sort of weird that the HC would grow on the driftwood and not on the substrate. That would suggest dosing and CO2 is fine.
Give it a go first then it may be easier to trouble shoot.
Also I think the Rummynose Tetras may be a bit too big for a 7.5 gallon tank.


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