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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, I'm brand new to this forum and looking for some help.
Around 8 months ago, I decided to try my first planted aquarium. I've been a fish keeper for almost 2 decades but never attempted a live plant aquarium.

I purchased a 10g tank, bdbs substrate (with flourish tabs), a Nicrew planted + led light and a bio wheel filter. I didn't know much of anything about aquatic plants so I ordered a fast growing stem plant bundle form Ebay. None of the plants received were listed so I don't know the names of my stems.

I really wanted to grow carpet but had no success after several attempts. About a month ago, I purchased a Fzone c02 generator that uses baking soda and citric acid. The results after setting up my co2 have been less than impressive. Some of my stem plants do not look healthy, my crested Java Fern's tips are brown, some of my S. Repens are doing ok and my Anubias has what I think is green spot algae (looks brown to me) on the leaves which is very hard to manually remove.
The only livestock in the tank are 2 siamese algae eaters.

Lights start ramp up process at 1130am and are on 100% power from 12 to 730pm and off at 8pm. Co2 is on a timer and comes on 1 hour before the lights and turns off 1.5 hours before lights out. I was dosing API Leafzone once a week but recently switched to Thrive all in one liquid fertilizer.

My bio wheel was not creating enough flow (drop checker was staying a very dark green) so I purchased a nicrew internal filter which drastically improved the flow. Drop checker is now more of a lime green color.

Parameters
PH 7.8
Ammonia 0
Nitrite. 0
Nitrate. 20
GH. 8
KH. 11
Water temp 79
These readings were taken one day after water change and 2 hours after co2 turned off.

Plant Light Water Organism Terrestrial plant

Plant Yellow Terrestrial plant Flower Grass

Water Vertebrate Plant Green Nature

Plant Water Leaf Terrestrial plant Automotive lighting

Water Plant Vertebrate Organism Underwater

Plant Water Organism Vegetation Terrestrial plant


These photos were taken right after a 50% water change (done weekly) hence the micro bubbles.

What advice could you experienced plant keepers give a newbie like myself? Too much light? Not enough? More frequent fertilizer dosing? Or maybe I expected too much and it's all normal?

My main goal with starting a small planted tank is to learn the ropes and convert my 75g into a full, heavily planted tank.

Sorry for the long post but thanks for taking the time to read! Any vital info I may have missed please let me know!
 

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I've been away from the hobby for some years now, but for a first go, I would take things a bit slower to allow the plants to fill in without competing with algae (as much).
Recommendations:
-Full 100% light power I would keep to only 3 hours, with a gradual ramp-up and ramp-down from there (seem you have that capability?).
-In reducing your light, you'll also want to reduce ferts accordingly. You didn't mention what you are using as fertilizer, just that Nitrate is 20ppm, unless that's all from the roottabs? If you have root tabs inserted into parts of the substrate that are not covered in plants...trim your stems in the 2 back corners (those are Rotala sp.) and plant the tops to fill in the holes.
-Temp seems too high for most plants. I usually aimed for 70-76...any warmer and I was fighting algae more than usual. (There are exceptions, but I think you will have better results with a lower temp if you are able to lower it.)

Rotala rotundifolia in your 2 back corners (if I recall correctly), and the stem in the middle maybe compare to Bacopa monnieri.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been away from the hobby for some years now, but for a first go, I would take things a bit slower to allow the plants to fill in without competing with algae (as much).
Recommendations:
-Full 100% light power I would keep to only 3 hours, with a gradual ramp-up and ramp-down from there (seem you have that capability?).
-In reducing your light, you'll also want to reduce ferts accordingly. You didn't mention what you are using as fertilizer, just that Nitrate is 20ppm, unless that's all from the roottabs? If you have root tabs inserted into parts of the substrate that are not covered in plants...trim your stems in the 2 back corners (those are Rotala sp.) and plant the tops to fill in the holes.
-Temp seems too high for most plants. I usually aimed for 70-76...any warmer and I was fighting algae more than usual. (There are exceptions, but I think you will have better results with a lower temp if you are able to lower it.)

Rotala rotundifolia in your 2 back corners (if I recall correctly), and the stem in the middle maybe compare to Bacopa monnieri.
Awesome thank you. I recently switched from dosing API Leaf Zone to Thrive all in one liquid fertilizer. I have never dosed more than once a week which is usually right after a 50% water change.

Thank you for the names of the stem plants. I will read up on them. So are you saying I should trim the stems, uproot the bottom half and replant the tops? I have trimmed and replanted the tops several times but always left the original plant. I know my original Rotalas definitely do not look healthy.

I did unplug the heater yesterday to bring the temperature down a bit.
My concern now is with the internal filter set up, I have zero surface agitation. Came home to 2 dead siamese algae eaters which was the only livestock I had in the tank. I added an air stone today to come on when the lights go out to replenish oxygen. That's the only reason I could think of why they would be dead.

I will back down the light as well to see if that helps. No major algae issues yet except what's on the leaves of my Anubias. Really appreciate the advice!
 
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