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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys,

I'm pretty new to planted tanks and currently living in a University dorm, so any help/advice would be much appreciated!

I currently have a 7.5G starphire tank from AI and I've equipped it with a 27 watt CFL clip-on lamp. I'm going to be getting pressurized CO2 this week, so I'm looking forward to that, especially since my HC don't seem to be very pleased with just Excel. Currently dosing Flourish Excel every day (1mL) and Flourish twice a week (1mL). I'm doing a 50%-75% WC weekly.

Fauna:
8 Cardinals (With a BEAUTIFUL red stripe =])
1 zebra danio - She won't let me catch her, so she's been fattening up eating by herself.

Flora:
Hemianthus Cuba
Anubius Nana
Ludwigia repens
Rotala Nanjenshan?
Alternanthera Rosaefolia
Hygrophila corymbosa 'Siamensis' ?
Dwarf Hair Grass - It's behind the stone, so it hasn't grown up too much to be visible from the front.

Let me know what you think! The second picture is when I first planted it, the first is a more recent one (Around 1 month difference). You'll notice the HC and Hygro definitely got wiped out quite a bit, and that's because I left one of my dorm mates to feed my tetras while I was gone.. and she flooded my tank with food.

Initially:


After my floormate flooded tank:



Btw, does anybody know how I can get rid of that sticker? It's not coming off very easily..
 

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I take it this tank is glass? Then try below methods.

Single edge razor with a little(carefully applied) rubbing alcohol should work fine for the sticker. Cap the rubbing alcohol bottle with a wash cloth and apply, then rub the cloth all over the sticker without getting any in the tank. This method takes some rubbing but don't give up.

or to loosen up the sticker first use a hair dryer on high to soften the glue, then scrape before the glue cools down.

Imi
 

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I take it this tank is glass? Then try below methods.

Single edge razor with a little(carefully applied) rubbing alcohol should work fine for the sticker. Cap the rubbing alcohol bottle with a wash cloth and apply, then rub the cloth all over the sticker without getting any in the tank. This method takes some rubbing but don't give up.

or to loosen up the sticker first use a hair dryer on high to soften the glue, then scrape before the glue cools down.

Imi

These two methods are good. Nice setup!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just did a water change and did some major trimming. Didn't trim my unknown hygro too much, as I want it to grow out a bit before I start replanting stems! Also, you probably noticed, but I now have pressurized CO2! Hopefully that Hemianthus Cuba starts filling in horizontally soon, excited! Also, does ludwigia repens usually grow sideways sometimes? I noticed it kinda creeps horizontally instead of vertically sometimes.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks,

Harshal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hey guys,

I was just wondering why my Ludwigia Repens is growing horizontal so much? It's not growing as straight up as I would like.. is it not getting enough light/nutrients?
Also, how many bps do you guys think I should be at? It's a 30cm cube, and I'm currently setting the CO2 at ~1bps.
 

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Good looking tank. Why not move the heater to the back behind the plants some so its not right out in the open? Also I would think having the heater right next to the thermometer would cause the readings to be off I could be wrong though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good looking tank. Why not move the heater to the back behind the plants some so its not right out in the open? Also I would think having the heater right next to the thermometer would cause the readings to be off I could be wrong though.
Hm I never thought about the temperature too much.. good call actually. I feel like I have a lot of bulky equipment, but I'm on a student budget, so no external filter with inline heaters/diffusers for me :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So, this is my tank 1 week from my last trim. Quite a bit of detritus in the front of the tank, and I can see a bit of blue-green algae growing in the front... so I'll be doing a thorough cleaning with my gravel vac soon.

Does anybody know why my HC might be dying? I thought it would love CO2 and high light :(. On the other hand, my Alternanthera reineckii is doing a lot better than before, as I can see the leaves opening up nicely. The leaves are a bit fat though, is this natural, or am I lacking some nutrients? The hygro and anubias are loving the current conditions.

Additionally, why is my ludwigia repens growing in a bit horizontally instead of vertically? Should I wait for it to grow out, and then cut the stems and replace the old stems with the new cuttings to get more vertical growth?
 

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Nice looking tank. From what I can see in your images it appears that your drop checker is usually blue-green. If your HC isn't growing under your current conditons then try turning your c02 up a little more, with the amount of light you have I think you could get away with it. Blast that C02 until your plants pearl and your drop checker goes yellow, however if your cardinals start reacting to the c02 levels you will know they are too high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Nice looking tank. From what I can see in your images it appears that your drop checker is usually blue-green. If your HC isn't growing under your current conditons then try turning your c02 up a little more, with the amount of light you have I think you could get away with it. Blast that C02 until your plants pearl and your drop checker goes yellow, however if your cardinals start reacting to the c02 levels you will know they are too high.
Just put up the bps to around 1.5. I'm guessing my cardinals will start going towards the surface if there's too much CO2?
 

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Yes, you will see them behaving strangely.

Also, are you dosing enough fertz? I've been trying to grow some HC myself, and have noticed it really pearls up more on the days I dose my macros and micros.

Keep in mind HC takes a while to adjust to different conditions than it is used to, like most plants. If you keep up on the c02 levels and fertz then there is no reason it should not grow with some time and patience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I dose Excel once every two/three days and dose Excel Flourish twice a week. Other than that, I don't dose anything. Do you have any recommendations for me?


Also, just went outside to find some rocks and picked up some that I think would be nice for scaping my tank, as it's quite desolate in terms of hardscape.

What do you guys think of them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My tank is being run over by algae! I'm definitely seeing blue-green algae as well as algae all over the sides, but that's nothing my toothbrush can't handle :).

Update:
The HC is FINALLY starting to spread a bit, I can see new bright green shoots from all over and there's a bit of creeping going on too, so hopefully it does well after I do my WC tonight or tomorrow. The hygro at the back's doing great and is loving the CO2 and high light. Repens is slowly starting to creep back up, and has shoots EVERYWHERE.

On a side note, I'm not too sure what the plant on the back right is, can somebody ID it for me?

-Unknown plant- is growing.. but unevenly, not how I anticipated it to be after my last trim. So, this time I'm going to let all of the stems grow out (ludwigia as well) and I'm going to try and cut the tops and replant those.

When I replant the tops, I'm planning on putting in a new hardscape, I've found some sweet rocks and put together a little mock hardscape on my desk, let me know what you think! Also, ignore the rock at the far back, I'm not sure if I'm going to be using it, as I don't see an appropriate spot for it. Also, keep in mind I'll be keeping the rock I currently have in my tank, as it has all my anubius wrapped on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey guys, been a while. I recently got some new plants; Rotala Rotundifolia, Stargrass, and Ludwigia Vietnam. I haven't really scaped with them yet and just threw them in the substrate to prevent their roots from rotting. I'm going to be rescaping the whole tank pretty soon, once my ludwigia repens grows in so I can cut the stems are replant them properly.

Let me know what you think!
 

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