At eight weeks, a full carpet of HC is almost there for my nano Iwagumi tank. The other two plants are still growing slowly, though.
Some Slow Growth
At this point, I’m a little disappointed with the hairgrass (that I planted at the back of the tank) and the three clumps of stem plants (that I placed near the stones).
They don’t seem to be growing enough.
The hairgrass has been sending runners and they pop up at random places. This is to be expected since they are a type of carpeting plant anyway. I just wished that they would send more runners and become dense at the back.
As for the Gratiola viscidula, I have actually trimmed them at least twice. For some reason, they are not growing as big as I expected. Let’s see what happens in a few more weeks or months.
Regular Trimming Required
The HC, on the other hand, is doing quite well. I don’t see them turning brown and they are getting denser and denser by the day. Just a bit more to the back of the tank and the substrate will be fully covered.
I also worry if I’m trimming them enough. If they get too dense, they have a tendency to float! I’ve seen reports of others who keep HC and they waited too long to trim it and it starts to float.
So I’ll probably have to trim it more often than the other two plants.
Balancing The Tank
Diatoms are almost gone but I’m still battling hair algae in the tank. Before each weekly water change, I have to brush them off the plants and hardscape before syphoning them out.
The tank isn’t balanced at the moment so they are still present. I hope they will no longer be visually visible by the next update which is around the three months mark.
I hope the tank will balance itself out by then if not, I’m not doing it right.
Giving It More Of Everything
The usual advice you’d get when you have algae is to reduce the light (duration or intensity) and fertilizers that you’re putting into the tank. I think that is good advice once your plants are growing extremely well.
In my case, I don’t think the plants in my nano Iwagumi tank is growing that very well, yet. I’d really want to see the hairgrass and stem plants healthier and denser before tackling the algae issue.
I have increased the photoperiod to eight hours. This also means that I’m injecting eight hours of CO₂ into the tank daily. Maybe I should also increase the amount of CO₂ that’s being injected.
At the same time, I’m alternating between Tropica Premium Fertiliser and Tropica Specialised Fertiliser (the latter contains nitrogen and phosphor). I hope these extra nutrients will help the plants grow better.
Let’s see what happens in a few weeks.
Adding The Livestock
You’re probably waiting for me to add livestock to this tank. Trust me, I can’t wait to do that too. It’s just that I am focused on growing the plants at the moment.
Anyway, can you guess what livestock I’ll put in first?