It’s amazing what CO₂ injection can do in a matter of four weeks. Looking at the growth rate in my nano Iwagumi tank, I think I’m hooked.
Fully Cycled And Water Parameters
It didn’t take long for my tank to be fully cycled even though I’m using active soil. With the help of an already mature biological filter media, the tank was fully cycled in less than two weeks.
Maybe it’s just that the Tropica Aquarium Soil Powder doesn’t contain excessive nutrients like other brands of active soil. It could also be that the tank is smaller and it contributes to the shorter cycling time.
Nonetheless, I’m satisfied with the active soil I’m currently using.
At the moment, I’m not sure if the tank water parameters are optimal for the plants or if I need to adjust it to make it better. It’s currently acidic and soft at the same time.
This makes it unsuitable for my favourite shrimps like Neocaridinas. I may consider other types of shrimps but a planted tank with CO₂ injection, regularly fertilized and huge water changes might not be good for them.
Visitors Called Algae
I was so expecting to get the tank algae-free right from the start by using mature biological filter media and doing frequent water changes but it didn’t happen as planned.
The first algae to make an appearance was green hair algae and it clung itself to the plants, hardscape and tank walls. I was afraid that it would be detrimental to the delicate carpeting plants.
A bit of diatom (which are common to a newly set up tank) came next.
Luckily they are both easily removed using brushes and syphoning during water changes. It still remains to be seen if they will stay away after the first four weeks.
I’m just glad that the tank wasn’t overrun with those stubborn type of algae.
More Light And More Nutrients
The plants are responding well to their new environment.
This means I can go ahead and increase the photoperiod from six hours to seven hours daily. I will have to monitor the increased photoperiod before finally bumping it to eight hours daily.
At the same time, I’m increasing the fertilizer to a full dose of Tropica Premium Fertiliser as recommended on the bottle. I have the Tropica Specialized Fertiliser too but I’m holding it off until needed.
Trying my best to balance plant growth and prevent algae.
Problems With The CO₂ Set
The CO₂ system that I’m using did come with its own set of problems. Not totally the fault of the system itself but also due to my inexperience with using CO₂ injection.
The first issue was the tube that came with the system. It was supposed to be the CO₂ resistant type of tube but it felt more like the usual silicone tube only thicker.
I made the mistake of screwing it too tight at the regulator outlet and it leaked. No wonder I have to keep cranking the output but getting an injection rate that was too low. Didn’t realize it until it was too late.
The second problem I had was with the regulator and cylinder connection. It would work for a few days until it leaked at one of the holes on the regulator. I’m not totally sure what that hole is for but I assume it’s a safety feature.
Both problems were easily fixed by not screwing the tube to the regulator too tightly (or using a better quality CO₂ resistant tube) and using a plumber’s tape around the cylinder thread. So far, so good.
I wasn’t happy with the CO₂ diffuser that came with the set. It was too bulky and not aesthetically pleasing in a nano Iwagumi tank. It will not diffuse properly too if the ceramic disc is not screwed in properly.
So, I went ahead and got another type of diffuser and I’m happy now.
Considering Nano Fishes
I have no plans to put any livestock in this tank yet. Small fishes are a possibility but I want to focus on growing the plants well first. Do you have any fish to recommend for this tank? Would love to hear your ideas.