I think I need to redo my tank. Any advice? I am sorry in advance for all these posts lately.

QiQi

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I started this tank 9 months ago. Back then as a beginner I did a lot of mistakes and slowly started changing things and is much better now.

Issues right now:
1. My plants seem to have stopped growing and my hygrophyla that I kept trimming and replanting now starts having some curled leaves
2. I can't keep floating plants alive
3. I vaccum the gravel every week and every week there are tons of gas pockets that smell.

I got very cheap gravel back then cause I had no clue what I was doing which I think is causing some issues.
I remineralize RO water.

I got 100+ cherry shrimp in there, 6 nerite snails and a Betta. The tank is 18gals. The Betta is eating pellets, I feed him 1 pellet at a time so I don't pollute the water. The shrimp and snails eat 1 algae wafer every 2-3 days and bacterae once a week, so I don't think I overfeed. Where is all this gas from the gravel coming from then if I clean every week?

I use seachem flourish for the plants twice a week. I have 2 12inch hygrophyla stems and 2 that are around 3 inches. They were growing like crazy so I kept trimming and replanting. Tiger lotus, java moss, java fern and Anubias nana bonsai , a big redmoor root and dragonstones, and red root floaters at the moment.

Seems like the plants are hungry. Maybe macro deficiency?

I was thinking of removing all this cheap gravel and replace with seachem fluorite and sand on top. Would that help my plants and this nasty gas pocket issue? Any other suggestions that are not too complicated, since I am in the hobby for only 9months?
 

PheonixKingZ

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What light do you have? Do you dose any fertilizers? @mbsqw1d may be able to help with the plants.

Do you have a picture of the gravel by chance? The fluorite will definitely help your plants grow and will look better.

A 18g tank really isn’t that big of a tank and you don’t have that much stock, so redoing the tank wouldn’t be that big of a task.
 

Razzmatazz

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Are you using pure RO water? Whats wrong with your tap water? I personnally mix RO and tap so I dont have to remineralize. The plants you mentioned pretty much low light plants. Hygrophyla is a stem plant so it basically get its nutrients from the water column. You may want to change your fetilizer. Seachem is pretty watered down. I use Thrive but there are other fertz out there that is way better than Flourish. Changing out the substrate could help but not really needed. I have regular inert black sand and plants are doing fine. Consider root tabs in your substrate for your root feeders.
 
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QiQi

QiQi

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What light do you have? Do you dose any fertilizers? @mbsqw1d may be able to help with the plants.

Do you have a picture of the gravel by chance? The fluorite will definitely help your plants grow and will look better.

A 18g tank really isn’t that big of a tank and you don’t have that much stock, so redoing the tank wouldn’t be that big of a task.
I have a generic tube that came with the tank hood when I bought the tank. I am planning on replacing it with an auto 24/7 light and figure out a way to make a nice glass cover.
I dose Seachem Flourish twice a week and follow the instructions on the bottle
The gravel is a very cheap black 3-4mm diameter that I bought 9 months ago around 1.5inches deep.
 
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QiQi

QiQi

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Are you using pure RO water? Whats wrong with your tap water? I personnally mix RO and tap so I dont have to remineralize. The plants you mentioned pretty much low light plants. Hygrophyla is a stem plant so it basically get its nutrients from the water column. You may want to change your fetilizer. Seachem is pretty watered down. I use Thrive but there are other fertz out there that is way better than Flourish. Changing out the substrate could help but not really needed. I have regular inert black sand and plants are doing fine. Consider root tabs in your substrate for your root feeders.
I remineralize my RO water with salty shrimp gh/kh+. My tap water is very hard >15 and high nitrates 40-45, so I had to swap to RO. I keep the light on for 8 hours, but I have turned the tube under the hood so it is not too bright. My hygrophila (corymbosa) has roots. I was planning on starting root tabs but I want to sort out that gas pocket issue first cause I can't be gravel vacuuming every week and be full of this gas again in such a short period of time.
 
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