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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've posted on here a couple of times, but have since been busy with getting settled in to college. I originally wanted a 29g biocube, but realized there was no way in hell I'd be able to keep up with it financially (after all, I am a broke college student :D), so I settled for just keeping a Tetra Crescent 5g for my betta.

All in all, the tank's pretty good. I'm using a little over half a 20lb bag of Eco-complete, and have it planted with water wisteria, Rotala rotoundifolia, Hygrophilia sp. (not sure the species - I think it's dwarf, but if anyone could ID it for me when I post pictures in a bit I'd really appreciate it), a little clump of java moss floating around somewhere, some Anubias nana, and dwarf hairgrass.

The tank originally came with a cruddy 16-LED light, but it was hardly giving anything off, so I switched it out for a clip-on 13w (6400K) flourescent light that really makes it brighter. I had a piece of unsoaked driftwood in their for a couple of days (employee either lied or was wrong about it being pre-soaked >_>) but took it out to soak in a bucket when the water started to look like coffee.

Now here's where things are tricky: I'm relatively new to plants - I've been doing as much research as I can in my spare time, but I'm not that knowledgeable on plant diseases/deficiencies. My hygro looks awful - its leaves are really transparent, yellowish brown, and bits and pieces break off every time I have to reach into the tank. The rotala doesn't look like it's doing too well, either, and the anubias is getting some yellowing and browning in some spots. It also had some sort of... rotting or damage to part of the rhizome and a whole bunch of leaves (some looking perfectly green) just fell off when I changed the water. I just planted everything some 5 days ago, so I'm not surprised if they just need to recover from the trauma of being moved, but I'm just wondering if I'm not doing things right.

The tank is cycling, so things are shaky as far as water parameters go. pH is between 7.4 and 7.6. Since the cycle just started, there's not a lot of nitrites/ates. Water temp's around 80F. Since it's such a small tank it's hard to dose accurately, but I was given a dosing chart from Preuss Pets (wonderful lfs here in Michigan) for Flourish, Flourish Excel, and Iron. According to that I need to dose .8 ml (0.2 cap) of Flourish every two days, 1ml (0.2 cap) of Excel every day, and 1ml (0.2 cap) of Iron every day. Maybe it's... a nitrogen deficiency? Since the tank's only been set up less than a week, there wouldn't be a lot of nitrates to feed them, would there? Or maybe I didn't trim them properly?

All in all, here are my man questions. Are these dosage instructions correct? Do I need to do any pruning/replanting of anything? Am I missing a fertilizer? Or is this just normal and I'm freaking out? XD

I'll post pictures in a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I'm pruning down the dead leaves off the hygro, and taking a look at the anubias - I think I know what's causing it to go bad. I apparently didn't remove all of the spongy stuff it came in (I'm guessing a temporary nutrient thing, like the gel that some plants come in?). It was looking really ugly and goopy. Is it safe to cut or skin off the rot-y parts on the rhizome?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Finally got the pics up.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/43/img4545i.jpg/ Closeup of the hygro and rotala - they look horrible even after I trimmed all the dead/dying leaves off. ._.
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/202/img4544j.jpg/ Full tank shot
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/405/img4546w.jpg/ Anubias
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/845/img4547v.jpg/ Anubias again... the one that had its icky rhizome was trimmed and just left uprooted.
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/153/img4548y.jpg/ Hairgrass - kinda browning as well
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/6/img4549wp.jpg/ Hygro and rotala again

Anyone have any advice?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I did a little bit of maintenance the other day - the rotala and hygro, I'm afraid, isn't going to come back. There's, like, two or three stems that resemble anything remotely green and they're floating for now. I'm keeping up with the dosing, adding only a couple of drops of excel and iron every day, and a couple of drops of flourish every two/three days. Driftwood's soaking - gotta remember to change the bucket every other day x_x ). And sadly my apple snail died, I'm imagining due to the cycling process or the stuff in the flourish. (copper, maybe?) He'll be missed.

This makes me wonder, though - I have no cleanup crew now. Not sure if this is a problem or not since there's just one betta in a 5g, but I'm worried this one fish will produce enough waste for the cycle to keep going. Should I go buy another snail or two, or even some red cherry shrimp? I was looking at those guys earlier and fell in love with them; I'm just worried about potential conflict with the betta.

On a brighter note, the wisteria and dwarf hairgrass are actually growing. XD I'm seeing a few itty bitty runners pop up here and there where the DHG is planted - a lot of it died off, but I'm surprised that the really green ones are still going strong. A lot of it is around 2 inches tall; should I trim it down to encourage new growth? If so, how much?
 
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