It has been four weeks since the tank was setup. Plants have grown very well with lush green all the time. There was very minimal algae issue happened in the tank. Since the tank has no fauna yet, I increased the CO2 injection rate to 2bps for 8 hours a day. Lighting time also increased to 8 hours a day, started one hour after CO2 injection and ended one hour after CO2 stops.
First trimming for the right background of Heteranthera zosterifolia (aka Star Grass) was done since the branches grew very fast and even touched the surface water. I trimmed them until quite short to make them become busier.
Heteranthera zosterifolia before trimming.
Heteranthera zosterifolia after trimming
Star Grass leaves were very soft and gentle, yet the colour was lush green. Star Grass is one of the fast-growing plants recommended for planted tank at initial stage since it would be able to absorb and consume excessive nutrient in the tank, thus prevent algae outbreak.
Heteranthera zosterifolia (Star Grass) leaves
Eleocharis acicularis 'Mini' has been growing beautifully, too. Their roots started to spread in wider area and slowly covered more space on the foreground. I used 2 tubs of 1-2 Grows! Eleocharis sp. 'Mini' for my 2ft tank at the beginning, so the covering speed was also faster.
Eleocharis sp. 'Mini' started spreading roots to bare area on the tank
By end of Week 4, the tank was quite close to be fully cycled where Nitrite level is 0ppm, Ammonia is 0.5ppm and Nitrate is quite high at 80ppm. It can be seen that beneficial bacteria have been working hard to transfer all Ammonia to Nitrite and Nitrite to Nitrate. Once the tank is fully cycled, I will jot down my experience on "fishless" cycling method with ADA Amazonia soil. For now, stay tuned and enjoy watching the plants grow. :)