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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The planted shrimp tank in my journal (see sig) is something of a paradox: the shrimp are thriving as the plant life dies off. After a winter on autopilot, it's teeming with hundreds of shrimplets of all three species (neos, OEBT, and babaulti) but only a handful of adults. I suspect a hidden snail die-off affected the adult shrimp population but the water quality is obviously quite good now.

I've removed most of the thick canopy of frogbit and added cyperus helferi several times, which soon melts. The CH that had already been there thrived but has now mostly melted away too. The rotala rotundifolia continues to do very little and the mosses have disappeared, the latter probably temperature related. With the frogbit gone, there is little biomass in the tank, so I add ferts only 1-2x/week, plus the nutrients from the weekly 1g WC, yet the CH and RR do not respond to the extra light.

I'm almost ready to give up and plant a forest of anacharis. I've had willow hygro (stalled), American shoreweed (did well but not attractive), val nana (stalled), golden anubias (kept detaching and floating away), plus the mosses.

Any suggestions for the CH or recommendations for other plants?


GH: 6
KH: 5
Temps: 68-74F
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Fertilizer: one dose = 8 oz of a solution of 2 cc of Flourish in 48 oz of distilled water. Dosed 1 or 2x/week, along with adding shrimp food every other day.

Also I add roughly a gallon of DI water remineralized with Shrimp Mineral GH/KH+ and baking soda to the values posted above. On reflection, probably around 0.75 gallons/week.

Lighting: Finnex Stingray 16", around 28-30 mMol at the sand substrate.

Anubias: there's a problem area along one edge of the largest rock: a void that I tried repeatedly to root the anubias in (without burying the roots of course). Either the current or my super-efficient shrimp kept relocating it until it was forgotten.
 

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Fertilizer: one dose = 8 oz of a solution of 2 cc of Flourish in 48 oz of distilled water. Dosed 1 or 2x/week, along with adding shrimp food every other day.
What kind of Flourish? Flourish is a sub-brand of Seachem, and they have Nitrogen, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Comprehensive, Advance, Trace, and Excel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Poor branding on Seachem's part: it just says "Flourish" but the description mentioned comprehensive, which in actuality it isn't.

I'm not dosing NPK but the same feeding regime supported a lush canopy of AF and RRF for several months. I'll test what I can tonight.
 

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If I were you, I'd keep things like Crypts and instead of dosing the water column, use DIY clay root tabs (or whatever you want, DIY is just 10,000x cheaper than anything else) shoved into the sand every few months. And maybe dose the water occasionally. Just because you don't have much of a plant load.

If mosses aren't doing well for you, it's likely flow-related. Especially if floating plants are thriving. It's tough to find a balance in a small tank where floaters and mosses do well at the same time. I'm only ever able to keep floating plants in my small tanks with decent flow if I have a way to anchor them - and it's usually only Frogbit that does the best for me. But in your tank, it looks like you're using a dialed down internal filter that doesn't provide a ton of flow. It's fine for your tank but probably not for the mosses you want to keep. I don't think your moss would start to kick the bucket for temperature-related reasons until you get closer to 80 - and even then, it'd have to be prolonged.

For Anubias to stay in place, I like to glue a couple roots to a chunk of lava rock or whatever I'm using in the tank in order to kind of anchor them where I want them. Literal plant anchors also work well but I never seem to have enough.

Agree with others that you should consider stuff like Java Fern. Especially the narrow or needle leaf types. They'd look great in your tank. Hydrocotyle (buncha different sizes and varieties) would almost all do well in your tank. Some of the smaller varieties would make for a nice, bushy look.

Have you tested for ammonia/ammonium recently? What about nitrates?
 
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