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Water Green Pet supply Organism Aquatic plant

Hi everyone,

First post on here. I've had my 29 gallon tank for about a year now and have been loving growing plants but always struggled with algae and carpeting plants. I recently moved and decided it would be best to clean out the tank and start over with the move instead of trying to fight the algae. So far my new set up seems much better balanced than what I had before. It has been about a month now with the new set up and it is going great other one things I cannot seem to figure out:

Carpeting plants - Every carpeting plant I have tried (Dwarf Hair Grass, Monte Carlo, Repens) has ended with the plant dying and me giving up on carpet plants for a few months until I try again with the same result. I have a drop checker showing a good color and light for 7 hours a day (1 6500k light LINK REMOVED).

I gave dwarf hairgrass another try and it doesn't seem to be going well as the plant is turning yellowish orange about 3 weeks in as seen below and some of them are fully dying off.
1031433


My water parameters are as follows:
Temp - 78 F
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 60 ppm (Is not usually this high recent spike in the last 2 days)
Hardness - 300ppm (Trying to lower this. Tap water is very hard in Southern California)
KH - 120ppm
PH - about 7

Can anyone help me see something wrong with what I am doing or any adjustments I should make.

Also bonus points if you can help me identify the tiny fish in the second picture. 4 of them snuck in on a plant when they were tiny and I don't know what they are.

Thank you!
 

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Maybe try bumping up the co2 alittle bit it's looks like a dark green when I think it should be yellowish green also with bumping up the co2 alittle more have some surface agitation to help oxygenat the tank

Sent from my SM-G998U1 using Tapatalk
 

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It could be that your water hardness is to high. A cheap RO system that connects to the sink may help. I'm on well and my harness is 460 via lab test and have to do a 25 percent well to RO mix.

The fish does look like a pygmy Cory. Nice free pickup
 

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I doubt you have enough light for those carpeting plants. If that's Seiryu stone that will make the water even harder, but that can be overcome with WCs if your tap isn't crazy hard. I think light is the main issue though.
I thought the more acidic your water was the more seiryu stone would impact it. I've always heard hard water does well with seiryu stone because it doesn't break down the calcium... I could be very wrong, I've avoided seiryu stone for this reason because I have battery acid for water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I doubt you have enough light for those carpeting plants. If that's Seiryu stone that will make the water even harder, but that can be overcome with WCs if your tap isn't crazy hard. I think light is the main issue though.
Thank you for your suggestion. Do you have any particular light that you recommend?

Maybe try bumping up the co2 alittle bit it's looks like a dark green when I think it should be yellowish green also with bumping up the co2 alittle more have some surface agitation to help oxygenat the tank

Sent from my SM-G998U1 using Tapatalk
Thank you, I have added 2 air stones and bumped up the CO2 a little. I'll let you know how it goes (y)

It could be that your water hardness is to high. A cheap RO system that connects to the sink may help. I'm on well and my harness is 460 via lab test and have to do a 25 percent well to RO mix.

The fish does look like a pygmy Cory. Nice free pickup
I have started doing RO water changes with the LFS RO water and plan to get a cheap RO system soon. Thanks!
 

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I thought the more acidic your water was the more seiryu stone would impact it. I've always heard hard water does well with seiryu stone because it doesn't break down the calcium... I could be very wrong, I've avoided seiryu stone for this reason because I have battery acid for water.
Yes, I believe that is true, but I do think the Seiryu will still impact hardness. I'm assuming his tap isn't high enough to prevent that. My Seiryu pushes my KH as high as 18 between WCs.

Thank you for your suggestion. Do you have any particular light that you recommend?
There's many depending on budget. You could look into the Fluval Planted 3.0 I like the Finnex 24/7 but your tank might be too deep. If you can get a programmable light (Like those mentioned) so you don't run full power all day. Much better to start with a midday burst and the rest dimmer to avoid algae issues.

On another note, do you know the difference between your tap KH and your tank?
 

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Water hardness isn't the issue here. But mixing RO/DI water with tap is never a good idea unless you know what makes up the dissolved solids in the tap water you're using. Especially when it comes to sensitive species like Corydoras pygmaeus. Abruptly changing parameters is not a good idea - do it slowly and over time.

What substrate are you using?

What's your fertilization regimen?

What do you mean you added two air stones? If you're causing all the CO2 to off-gas, that's problematic. Air stones should only be used at night when your CO2 is turned off.

First thing I'd do is bump that lighting up to 8 or 9 hours until you can get more light, make sure you have enough CO2 and figure out ferts.

But to the important stuff...

You say this tank has only been set up for a month but you already have livestock in it. Did you cycle the tank? How long? What was your ammonia source?

Was this grass tissue-cultured or in a pot with roots in rockwool? Was it grown in water or out? Because it looks like normal die-off after initial planting in a new tank. To achieve better carpeting, you have to plant just a few root segments together in a grid or tiny checkerboard pattern instead of in large clumps.

I'm asking how the hair grass was originally grown because those Anubias were grown emersed (out of water) and have just recently been added to your tank. You need to remove them from the substrate and attach them to hardscape. When the rhizome is planted, it will rot and the plant will die. They're epiphytes and don't get planted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Water hardness isn't the issue here. But mixing RO/DI water with tap is never a good idea unless you know what makes up the dissolved solids in the tap water you're using. Especially when it comes to sensitive species like Corydoras pygmaeus. Abruptly changing parameters is not a good idea - do it slowly and over time.

What substrate are you using?

What's your fertilization regimen?

What do you mean you added two air stones? If you're causing all the CO2 to off-gas, that's problematic. Air stones should only be used at night when your CO2 is turned off.

First thing I'd do is bump that lighting up to 8 or 9 hours until you can get more light, make sure you have enough CO2 and figure out ferts.

But to the important stuff...

You say this tank has only been set up for a month but you already have livestock in it. Did you cycle the tank? How long? What was your ammonia source?

Was this grass tissue-cultured or in a pot with roots in rockwool? Was it grown in water or out? Because it looks like normal die-off after initial planting in a new tank. To achieve better carpeting, you have to plant just a few root segments together in a grid or tiny checkerboard pattern instead of in large clumps.

I'm asking how the hair grass was originally grown because those Anubias were grown emersed (out of water) and have just recently been added to your tank. You need to remove them from the substrate and attach them to hardscape. When the rhizome is planted, it will rot and the plant will die. They're epiphytes and don't get planted.
Thanks for all of the advice!

I am using UNS Controsoil
1 pump of NA Thrive fertilizer every day (Not sure if this is a good amount)

My current set up is only a month old but it is the same cannister filter I was using before so the cycle time was very fast while I kept my fish in a second tank temporarily. I also carried over a small amount of water from my previous set up. My snails were the source of ammonia in the cycling tank for about a week before adding the rest. Cycling the tank is not a problem for me (y)

The grass was in a tissue culture, the Anubias was submerged in a pot when I bought them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There's many depending on budget. You could look into the Fluval Planted 3.0 I like the Finnex 24/7 but your tank might be too deep. If you can get a programmable light (Like those mentioned) so you don't run full power all day. Much better to start with a midday burst and the rest dimmer to avoid algae issues.

On another note, do you know the difference between your tap KH and your tank?
Just tested, My tank KH is around 120 while my tap water KH is around 100. Just curious why do you ask?
 

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Just tested, My tank KH is around 120 while my tap water KH is around 100. Just curious why do you ask?
Seiryu stone will usually increase hardness. So the 120 ppm before a water change or right after? Anyway as I mentioned in my other post, I think lighting is the problem. Assuming good co2, you have active soil so it's hard to mess up ferts in the beginning, the only other thing is the lighting. I don't think the light you have is a "planted tank" type light and certainly not for carpets.
 

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Thanks for all of the advice!

I am using UNS Controsoil
1 pump of NA Thrive fertilizer every day (Not sure if this is a good amount)

My current set up is only a month old but it is the same cannister filter I was using before so the cycle time was very fast while I kept my fish in a second tank temporarily. I also carried over a small amount of water from my previous set up. My snails were the source of ammonia in the cycling tank for about a week before adding the rest. Cycling the tank is not a problem for me (y)

The grass was in a tissue culture, the Anubias was submerged in a pot when I bought them.
So you didn't cycle the tank and didn't provide an ammonia source. It's good that your filter could process ammonia but that doesn't mean your tank was cycled. Especially since your substrate was releasing ammonia - and likely still is, though your filter is keeping up. Snails definitely don't produce enough ammonia to cycle a tank.

Water doesn't really contain beneficial bacteria, so there's no reason to use water from an old tank in the future. Beneficial bacteria grows on surfaces.

Since the hair grass was tissue-cultured, that kind of partial die-off is definitely to be expected regardless of setup. Especially in an ammonia-rich substrate so early on and with a low light situation.

Still remove those Anubias from the substrate. They were grown emersed before you purchased them and submerged in the tank by the retailer. That's fine and they won't die, they'll just slowly transition to submerged growth over the course of 5-6 months. Just definitely remove them from the substrate so they don't die.

As others have suggested, what you have is low light. The PAR data I can find (if that was the exact fixture you have) suggests you're in the really low light area - just enough for Anubias. You'd probably want at least two of those fixtures to be low-medium light.

Again, what do you mean you added two air stones?

Are you using liquid test kits or test strips?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So you didn't cycle the tank and didn't provide an ammonia source. It's good that your filter could process ammonia but that doesn't mean your tank was cycled. Especially since your substrate was releasing ammonia - and likely still is, though your filter is keeping up. Snails definitely don't produce enough ammonia to cycle a tank.

Water doesn't really contain beneficial bacteria, so there's no reason to use water from an old tank in the future. Beneficial bacteria grows on surfaces.

Since the hair grass was tissue-cultured, that kind of partial die-off is definitely to be expected regardless of setup. Especially in an ammonia-rich substrate so early on and with a low light situation.

Still remove those Anubias from the substrate. They were grown emersed before you purchased them and submerged in the tank by the retailer. That's fine and they won't die, they'll just slowly transition to submerged growth over the course of 5-6 months. Just definitely remove them from the substrate so they don't die.

As others have suggested, what you have is low light. The PAR data I can find (if that was the exact fixture you have) suggests you're in the really low light area - just enough for Anubias. You'd probably want at least two of those fixtures to be low-medium light.

Again, what do you mean you added two air stones?

Are you using liquid test kits or test strips?
Again, I kept my filter from before which contains beneficial bacteria. I added two air stones in the back of the aquarium pumping air bubbles to provide more surface agitation. I don't know what else that could mean.

I have both a liquid test kit and strips. KH is the only measurement that my test kit does not have though so I was using the strips for that.

Didn't realize that was low light. Will look into a new one.
 

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Again, I kept my filter from before which contains beneficial bacteria. I added two air stones in the back of the aquarium pumping air bubbles to provide more surface agitation. I don't know what else that could mean.

I have both a liquid test kit and strips. KH is the only measurement that my test kit does not have though so I was using the strips for that.

Didn't realize that was low light. Will look into a new one.
Correct - your filter was cycled. But your tank was not. And your substrate has been releasing ammonia. Controsoil can release ammonia for 30-90 days - and in some batches, even longer. So your tank wasn't instantly cycled. Better than it would be without a filter with existing bacteria in its media for sure.

Running airstones during your photoperiod, while CO2 is on, can quickly off-gas your CO2. Meaning it never makes it to your plants.

Depending upon your budget, there are plenty of fixtures that are affordable. One other good option is Nicrew - which you can get on Amazon. You'll be able to get something for less than half what a Fluval fixture will cost you, minus bluetooth functionality. Pair it with a $5 TP-Link/Kasa smart plug and you're good to go. Though, some of them have built-in timer functions. I recently got a Nicrew SkyLED Plus for under $40. They have a few others with way more output that are in a similar price range. I really like them.

That Current USA fixture you have would also be great on a shorter aquarium. Would be perfect low light for shrimpkeepers or low-tech setups. Or, if you're feeling into it, you could put it over a clear-ish plastic storage box/shoebox to grow extra plants. I have something similar over a clear box I got from IKEA that I use to stick my trimmings in. Or maybe you could keep it on the tank and get a Nicrew or something similar to combine with it.

Since your aquascape looks so great, I wouldn't remove the rock work. I think it will likely be fine for you as your tank matures. Especially if you stick to a regular water change schedule. If it ever does become a problem, you could consider temporarily removing it and coating it in clear epoxy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Correct - your filter was cycled. But your tank was not. And your substrate has been releasing ammonia. Controsoil can release ammonia for 30-90 days - and in some batches, even longer. So your tank wasn't instantly cycled. Better than it would be without a filter with existing bacteria in its media for sure.

Running airstones during your photoperiod, while CO2 is on, can quickly off-gas your CO2. Meaning it never makes it to your plants.

Depending upon your budget, there are plenty of fixtures that are affordable. One other good option is Nicrew - which you can get on Amazon. You'll be able to get something for less than half what a Fluval fixture will cost you, minus bluetooth functionality. Pair it with a $5 TP-Link/Kasa smart plug and you're good to go. Though, some of them have built-in timer functions. I recently got a Nicrew SkyLED Plus for under $40. They have a few others with way more output that are in a similar price range. I really like them.

That Current USA fixture you have would also be great on a shorter aquarium. Would be perfect low light for shrimpkeepers or low-tech setups. Or, if you're feeling into it, you could put it over a clear-ish plastic storage box/shoebox to grow extra plants. I have something similar over a clear box I got from IKEA that I use to stick my trimmings in. Or maybe you could keep it on the tank and get a Nicrew or something similar to combine with it.

Since your aquascape looks so great, I wouldn't remove the rock work. I think it will likely be fine for you as your tank matures. Especially if you stick to a regular water change schedule. If it ever does become a problem, you could consider temporarily removing it and coating it in clear epoxy.
Thank you for all of the advice! I will do some more research on lights and get that fixed.

Thanks everyone on this thread!
 
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