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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm not quite sure what's happening with my 10-gal tank and hope you can all help me figure it out. The tank is 3 weeks old tomorrow. I put a whole packet (which if I remember right is enough for 30 gallons or so) of bacter-vital in it with a betta, 2-3 inches of fluorite, and for the first few days, I had a 20 watt red and blue spectrum u-shaped fluorescent light and a "daylight" spiral fluorescent aimed at it. Then after about a week of that, I got serious and got a Nova Extreme 24 inch 48 watt fixture on it. Edit: forgot to say that the lights are on for 12 hours a day. Last weekend I added 3 cories.

For Plants in it, I've got Jungle Val (Which has already had 2 offshoots), Red Nesaea (which is more like Rust nesaea now), an aponogeton from walmart bulbs, 2 sprouting bulbs of mini-water lilly, and anubias minima.

I'm dosing one squirt (more like 1.5 squirts) of k from my pfertz bottle about 3 times a week.

This week, the Betta started looking ragged like the cories were nipping his tail and the plants started looking bad - the jungle val has brown spots and some old leaves are melting while other new ones grow. The anubias minima (I think is what it is) is looking dirty and has the same brown spots, only more so. The Nesaea is losing red which doesn't make sense to me since it's got all the iron it needs in the fluorite. The hairgrass is kinda brown too, but I expect that since it's converting from emersed to submerged.

I also added a snail this week, but may have accidentally killed him when I added salt to try to help the betta. The cories are the only living thing in the tank not seeming to suffer.

Any Ideas? I may pick up some excel this weekend, but since I just had to buy a $600 camera for a college photography class, money's going to be tight for a very long time.

Pictures of the plants and tank are attached.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Now I'm even more confused. I bought an API Freshwater testing kit and found this:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0.25
Nitrates: 5
PH: 8.2

I thought plants ate nitrates. Why are my plants seemingly starving (if that's what it is) when there is so much food for them? I added some excel and 3 platies and 3 mollies to the tank (the betta died) because before testing today, the LFS said they thought the bio load was too low for the plants with just a betta and 3 platinum cories.
Hopefully that'll help things out a bit as the bio load increases.

Can't wait to hear from some of you on what else I can do to help.
 

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I dont know the pfertz dosing stuff but I have never grown decent nesaea w/out real co2. DIY Co2 is a cheap way to get Co2 and there are a few zillion posts on it. If you attend to it, it will work better then excel and you dont have to worry about your vals getting dodgy. You may want to consider some plants besides Nesaea that are easier. I have a non-co2 natural tank, that I am about to tear down, --pm me if you want a huge bargain (shipping + a few bucks)on plants that will work in your tank that are also used to High ph. conditions.
 
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