Keep the balance!
As in life, it’s all about having balance. It’s key to make your planted tank a succes, but how do you do it?
When balancing your aquarium, CO2, light and nutrients are the things that you want to keep in mind. You want your CO2 to be stable and consistent. It should produce the same amount of bubbles per minute, every minute! So invest in a good dual stage regulator like Co2art, it’s worth it. Even as your CO2 tank run empty, the pressure will remain stable, and that’s exactly what you want.
When it comes to plants, light is critical! How many hours and at what percentage will you be running them? The longer your lights are on, the longer your CO2 will be on, and you’ll need more nutrients as well. I always start with 6 hours of light per day, and turn the CO2 on 3 hours before the lights turn on. In this way there will be enough CO2 in the tank before the plants start photosynthesizing and your pH will be stable at that point.
Last, but certainly not the least important piece to be considered are the nutrients. There are many types of fertilizers available on the market; seperate micro’s and macro’s that you can dose to the needs of your tank, or all-in-one ferts. All-in-one contains everything your plants need and are usually easier to dose if you when you are new to the hobby. Some plants do however have specific nutrient demands and in order for them to look their best. In the case of Rotala H’ra, it turns a beautiful red when you lower your nitrates.
So, try to find the balance in your aquarium, look at your plants, and test your water parameters. If you make changes, don’t change things from day to day, let nature adapt. Making to many big changes in CO2 or fertilizers can cause algae! Take your time and make small changes every week, and enjoy your plants!