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New to planted tanks, intro and questions

504 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  SSJChar
Hey all, so I decided to start a dwarf shrimp tank recently and so i planned out a very simple planted tank build of 10g, some dwarf hairgrass, a mini moss tree, and maybe a small bush with some hardscape. i ended up buying a 20long(originally wanted only 10g but this one was the cheapest i could find used), 7lb of black sand from petsmart(the nat geo small grain kind), and something that was advertised as "Eleocharis Acicularis similar foreground carpet" seeds. i guess its some sort of dwarf hairgrass, and maybe not acicularis. anyways, I will be stocking the tank on the 1st of may(8 days from now) and want to flood it on the 27th(thursday). here are some bullet points:
planted the seeds 13 days ago
misting twice a day with hydroponic fertilizers
lights on 16 hours a day, near total darkness for the rest(no sun at all)
because misting twice a day, water level is around 3/16th away from lowest valley of the substrate
want to flood the tank in 4-5 days

I want the best root growth in the next few days because i'm a bit worried the hairgrass wont be rooted enough and may float or be loose. what is the best way to improve the root growth in this short amount of time?
should i drain the water so its at a lower level? or should i add more so most of the roots and some of the grass is submerged?
should i go more or less lighting?
the tank has a glass top on it, should i leave it open for a bit, leave it a bit open, or keep it closed. i pretty much only uncover it when misting

any tips and suggestions are greatly appreciated
this picture was taken earlier today. the blades average 1.5 inches in height and the roots seem to be only roughly 3/4 of an inch deep


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First your carpet looks great!!! I think with a fine grain like you have the challenge will be more of trying not to disturb the substrate. And my experience with Nat Geo sand is that air bubbles attach to it and it floats until the bubble bursts. I know this seems odd to anyone who has not used it before but if its the #5 nat geo sand I experience this every time I change my water as some of the sand from my water fall ends up above the water line and when I fill micro bubble will attach and carry it to the surface. For your first fill I would used aged water (water that has sat for a minimum of 24 hrs.) and maybe add an airstone. This will off gas the water and you won't get all those micro bubble when filling. After that it shouldn't be to much of an issue and as long as you don't disturb the substrate much you should be fine.

Thanks. When i first got the substrate i gave it a rinse just in case and yeah, i definitely noticed 'islands' of floating sand. I have some water thats aging right now thats been sitting for 2 weeks now. Probably going to buy 2 5g buckets today too, just so i have buckets for bucketing. I also am running an hmf filter so that should help a lot with adding water and not disturbing the substrate. my tap water params for gh and kh are at the upper limit for neocaridina shrimp and i'm planning on adding some caridina tigers too, so my next planning is going to be figuring out how to lower gh and kh a bit to be inline for both species. got a week to figure it out!
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