Hi everyone, decided to keep a sort of online journal here, if that's ok! Wanted to share how it's been going, now that it's been...oh dear, a few months now? With my El Natural set up.
How it started:
I quickly realize there wasn't nearly enough plants, I had to resort to putting in carbon in the filter to help stabalize everything. I haven't had to change it yet, the idea is that as the carbon wears out/gets old, there will be enough plant growth to really put things in check.
So this is how it's going:
I get some light nitrite readings (below .25 ppm) after I clean any part of my filter, which I have to do every so often because it gets so gunky, the flow starts being too weak.
I have new lights which are probably considered medium intensity because even the red plants in the middle foreground (not sure the name of them!) are starting to perk up and stopped loosing leaves.
At first there was some brown "algae" but that went away a few weeks ago and now with the new lights there's been a growth of hairy/stringy algae. It's not too intense, but I did do a manual clean up and shortened the light schedule by two hours (one in the morning and one at night, continueing with a 4 hour siesta inbetween)
I think things are going along quite well, the fish are doing wonderfully, however they seem skittish around me, I think they are a bit traumatized with my constant hands in the water, always planting new things from the last couple of months but I'm slowly gaining their trust again with every feeding, heh.
Wanted to share something interesting, I read that cutting jungle val at the top of the leaves doesn't mean it grows back, but mine have almost with every trim!
Also these two leaves which are particularly dark (excessive nutrients??), I thought were dieing but after cutting them they are already back at the surface.