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Started this 29 gallon tank last June with plain inert gravel, jungle val, dwarf sag root tabs, a cheap hood light and saw little to no growth. October 2019 I took everything out dirted the bottom with Miracle Grow natural and organic potting soil and laid the old gravel back on (First pic). Put the old hood light in storage and invested in a finnex planted 24/7 (which I have on a custom setting on a timer). I replanted the val and sag than a few weeks later got ludwigia repens, ludwigia super red, and pearlweed.

Starting with not so many plants, a powerful light, and no co2 dosing, diatoms and green dust algae hit the tank hard and I was fighting that off for a little over a month. Than I went away for a week and the diatoms coated my plants from not doing maintenance and it took another couple weeks for the plants mostly the ludwigia/sag to recover.

In February I got co2 setup and upped my lighting. Not much difference to start but the algae was not coming back as fast and new growth was healthier. After about a month of getting used to the co2 and seeing what’s the best dose for my tank results started to be noticeable and it just started going crazy.

Ever since I got the hang of the co2 and the light together it was over. Plant growth is insane, the ludwigia and pearlweed grows too fast I had to lower the co2 and light. I’ve done about three big trims with the last one just done about a week ago. As well added a red sword plant a friend gifted me. The last pic is it’s current state and the second to last was before the trim.

Planted tanks are very rewarding I learned when you’re patient and open to learning what’s wrong instead of throwing in the towel. Mainly what it is, is that I’m more informed on having a planted tank thanks to YouTube and this website.

If I was to leave any tips to other new scapers is to have fun with it, be patient, and dosing co2 works wonders. If you made it this far please leave any comments or any suggestions of plants that I should add.

Thanks -TJ
 

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