Thank you for the pointers! I was going to get rid of the crypts for something that will do better with my poor quality substrate. This is basically an experimental tank with my gf. She picks the fish I get some plants. So don't want to spend too much more money on it. I don't mind maintenance though.
I will try doing a 4hr cycle with the lights. How long in between the 4hr intervals?
If I lower the power of the lights wouldn't my DIY Co2 system and some EI dosing with KNO3, KH2Po4, and trace elements be sufficient? Im only gonna buy plants requiring moderate light, so I know that's limiting but it's not a big deal. I know the Co2 helped cuz I had that going before I got the new lights and noticed the new growth sprouting faster.
I basically want to keep my plants healthy and growth would be nice too. I now know overdid it with the lights, but using some 'neutral density filter sheets' would help right? I appreciate the help! I enjoy working on my tank, but don't have alotta money I can throw at it