CO2 is most likely the issue. H. difformis will grow even under low light assuming all the nutrients are met, which includes CO2.
I don't add any nutrients. I figured I wouldn't need to since I have a miracle gro base layer. I thought it would be good without dosing for a while. Basically everything is way out of balance, huh? Thanks for sharing that link. I has read it during my research before starting but it's good reread now. So do you think think that beginning to add nutrients as well as a co2 regulator will get this tank in balance? I have a tiny apartment and this is really the only place I can leave the tank so getting it out of direct sunlight is not an option.You did not list any nutrients which are available to the plants.
ANY direct sunlight causes algae in tanks.
I'll try to get somePictures would help out a lot.
Sounds good.Makes sense to change one parameter at a time, so I will try to be patient as I do this. I do want to get the light on a more prescribed schedule so I'd like to get that fixed ASAP and then maybe start adding the potassium as soon as I get it in the mail.
While sulfate is also a necessary nutrient the benefit of using K2SO4 is that you dose potassium for "free." Sulfur generally doesn't cause issues if dosed in higher amounts. If you rely on KNO3 or KH2PO4 to supply the potassium you must be aware that you are also adding NO3 or PO4. I've seen in higher tech tanks potassium can run out if relying on KNO3 or KH2PO4. Perhaps not as much of an issue in low tech tanks but still the option to dose potassium independently of the other macro nutrients is beneficial.Why is the KNO3 not sufficient for providing potassium? K2SO4 has twice the moral concentration of potassium so it would provide twice the potassium per mole of compound as the KNO3. But K2SO4 has almost twice the molar weight of KNO3 so it wouldn't matter if the chemicals were being weighed. The recipe in the link is by volume though so I'm not sure of stoichiometry. Or is there something advantageous to supplying sulfate as well? Sorry, drawing off my chemistry knowledge here without necessarily having an applied understanding of the way these chemicals are used by plants.
Yes you shouldn't have to use ferts with soil. Sometimes if you use pure RO water it will strip nutrients out of the soil over time and you'll need to replace these nutrients by dosing or new soil. Other times if you mineralize soil it will reduce the amount of nutrients in the soil and they run out a little sooner. Sometimes newly setup soil will not provide enough of either potassium, nitrogen or iron. This new soil phenomenon tends to go away after a few weeks and the soil becomes capable of supporting plants. Perhaps it is just the plants switching to root mode over absorbing all nutrients from the stem and leaves? Or perhaps the soil is just "maturing" or the bacterial populations in it changing over from land to aquatic types.As for the soil, it was my intention with the dirt to not need to use fertilizers. I suppose it can't hurt to do the dosing in the thread mentioned above, but maybe once a week with potassium 3x for now. If anything, the added chemicals would prolong the available nutrients in the soil. I can't for the life of me remember what brand it is. I thought it was a home depot brand organic soil, but now I'm not finding that on their website. In any case, I did not mineralize it.