02-03-2008, 02:43 AM
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I'm no expert by no meens,but here's some thoughts,my $.01 worth
1st,dump the Amquel and Novaqua and get some Seachem Prime.Prime is all you need for a water treatment and is the best.It removes Chlorine,Chloramine,Ammonia,Detoxifies Nitrite & Nitrate;converts Ammonia into a safe non-toxic form etc etc....
your tank is still "new" hence the ammo surge;could be from overfeeding,too many fish (thats not it in this case) or inadequate biological filtration (the good bacteria that convert the ammonia to Nitrite (also toxic) to Nitrate of which is needed at a level of 40 PPM or less,I try to keep it about 10-15
as for the plants :
what do you have for lights ? are they just the incadescents(sp?) that came with the cover ?if so,switch them out for the CFL Daylight 6500k bulbs,you can get these at Walmart for about $7 a 2 pack in a few different wattages,I have 2 14w over my 10g (28 watts,just shy of 3watts per gallon) plants grow like weeds in that tank with 3 guppies and some Cherry Shrimp,I have Java Ferns almost growing out the water
not enough "food" for the plants.they need the nitrates/fish poo,that your probably not going to get with the Betta,and Cories without supplementing if you want plants; the Amazon Swords will overgrow a 10g with the right water parameters
so could be a combination of not enough/wrong kind of light and or lack of nutrients the plants need
Get some Seachem Flourish
Your PH..hhmmm...my RO/DI (Reverse Osmosis/DeIonized water isn't even that low,it comes out of it at 6.5 then I use 50-50.My tap comes out around 9.0,a 50-50 mix brings it to about 7.6.
I just recently got back into keeping tanks again 2 years ago,so I'm re-learning things myself,after keeping tanks for about 20-25 years
test your GH and KH of your tap water
:a certain PH isn't as important as a stable PH
Do you have a water softener ? an RO unit ? What are you testing the water with ? test strips or a reagent test like API Master Test Kit ??