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I'm wondering if the beach rocks is creating pockets of gas under your substrate. You should have the rocks going all the way down to the glass. If you do that it can't become stagnant under there.

80% is pretty hot. Do you need it that hot?

I imagine your peat might be decomposing somewhat and maybe what is creating the ammonia spike. Was the ammonia and nitrite down to zero before? Also maybe the plants you have that are planted in the gravel are rotting under the surface and you don't know it.

I also wonder about your nutrients. If your duckweed isn't even growing then obviously something is missing. I see your light is pretty low. You need Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium as macro nutrients (NPK) for plants to grow. To that you add micro nutrients (calcium magnesium, iron, etc). Next is a carbon source. In low light tanks it can be the air being stirred up in your tank. Lastly you need light. When all of these things work together you have a cycled tank that grows plants. You can use plant tabs for your nutrients. The plants look nice and help to maintain water quality.

Your lighting sounds very low. I am amazed that you are growing any plants with that little of watts per gallon. Do you have it in a window? You need to have at least 1.5 wpg to grow plants -or you can have less but make sure it's in a window with sun.

Water changes are always the first thing you do when you see something out of wack. Vaccum your gravel to get any trapped gas out. Dilute the pollute.... :D

Long term suggestions:
1. Get rocks to bottom of tank
2. Make sure you have enough light
3. Get some plant tabs.
4. Make sure the plants you have are low light.
 

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Premium Member
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Thanks for the kind words about my tanks. I enjoy them. I'm getting some Amano shrimp today to eat that hair algae I've been fighting in my 10g tank.

I had tanks with inert gravel for years and years. I was able to grow many types of plants. I just used root tabs. They worked great. Since your tank is at the office it might do fine with them. You don't really want tons of maintenance in that tank. My daughter has her betta in a gravel tank with Java ferns of different types. It works great!

When you get a chance post a px. We'd love to see your tank. :D
 
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