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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I am getting back into the hobby after many years without a tank.

I currently have a Fluval Edge that I am trying to grow an HC carpet in.

The tank has been set up for just about 3 weeks now and has been plant-only since the start.

Current Setup :

Fluval Edge 6G

AI Nano Light - (tried to do saltwater previously, left over light) - 35W fixture which includes 4 Blue/2 white LEDs. I only run the white at about 60-70%.

Fluval EBI Stratum - (that's what It used to be called... might just be called Fluval stratum now)

Fluval C02 kit - Adapted to use a paintball c02 tank, running the Fluval DC and diffuser for now. Running 4bps or so (unreliable method of reading c02 levels, I know. The water has micro c02 bubbles throughout the entire water column as the circulation with the powerhead is very good. I have the c02 pretty cranked for a tank this size since no fish).

No filter, powerhead only (Koralia Nano).


Ferts -
I've actually gone a bit crazy buying a bunch of the liquid ferts that the LFS had in stock. I've EI dosed before, and plan on doing it again. I wanted to get things going, so I am using liquid for now. Additionally, the tank is so small that the cost isn't too bad to use liquid ferts.

What I have:
Flourish,
Flourish Trace,
Flourish Potassium,
Equilibrium,
Aquavitro Synthesis (nitrates),
Aquavitro propel (iron)

Currently no strict regiment. Adding a little bit more than what is suggested on the bottle, using the frequency suggested on the bottle. With no fish in the tank, I am using the logic that adding a little extra can not hurt with the exception of N03, which can cause algae growth.

Problem:

I cannot for the life of me grow an HC carpet. The first batch of HC that I put in the tank from Day 1 had amazing growth for the first 5 days. I noticed growth after about the 3rd day and it was growing quickly from day 3 to day 5, noticeable growth was seen in those two days.

After day 5-7 or so came the hair algae. This is when things took a turn for the worse. During the first few days my c02 levels were not high enough and I was running the light at 100% intensity (white LEDs only).

The first batch of HC eventually died off. I have corrected the algae issue by cutting back light and bumping up c02.

A second round of HC was added about 4-5 days ago. No noticeable growth since then. Everything was green until today. I am now noticing a loss in color.

Here's some pics:

FTS - rotala magenta in the background, seems to be doing okay but only added within the past week.


Here's a pic of some of the newest batch of HC. Best way to describe color is just a less saturated green. Not really yellowing, more of a light/whitish green color.



First round of HC that died.



I am trying to identify what has gone wrong and am having a pretty hard time, though I have not been very scientific about my fert regiment and isolating the problem to one fert or another.

The only test kit that I currently have is for N03. I have been trying to keep the levels at 30ppm, but have noticed once (yesterday) where I have checked and N03 was at around 0 ppm.

Additional Info:

I use distilled/bottled water for water changes.

Will test N03 now and report back with levels.




Ideas as to what the problem can be (not in any particular order):

1) Not doing enough water changes - Have done 1 water change since the tank's start about 3 weeks ago. I am operating under the idea that plants aren't as particular about water changes than fish.

2) Distilled water is too lacking in trace elements - the Trace/Equilibrium that I'm adding is not enough

3) Lack of proper test equipment to determine a simple deficiency that may be occuring

4) I Cut back the light too much after the algae outbreak

5) Simply not adding enough ferts for the light levels that I have (I'm pumping out about 14W right now as measured as my power meter that the light is plugged into. The light has a fan in it, so maybe the light output is a little less than that. Additionally, the tank is very shallow - HC is about 8" away from the light.)
 

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Growing a thick carpet using dry start. You'll also face transition from emerged to submerged. Is that right? Or I have the wrong idea about dry start or transition?


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I bought the HC at the LFS...not sure how it was grown.

How long does a melt usually take to recover from?

I'm pretty sure the HC in the third pic is dead, but I can be convinced otherwise...
 
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