So, I have removed the chinese algae eater from my tank...the original problem has been resolved (the transparencies on the plants have disappeared and filled in green). however, not i believe i am having a different issue.
aside from what i believe to be brown diatoms, my s.repens is black around the edges of all the leaves, some of my cryptocryne is doing the same thing and my carolina plants are covered in brown diatoms.
i am going to try and get my hands on some otos (petco ran out over the weekend) to clean up some of the diatoms but i'm more curious about the blackened edges of my leaves.
I have been dosing K/Fe and flourish comprehensive every other day (dose K/Fe one day, skip a day, dose flourish comprehensive, skip a day, dose K/Fe, etc). i think i'm going to narrow this down to once a week to see if it clears up bit unless someone else has a more convincing solution/idea of what may be going on.
also, my nitrates are at 40ppm so i don't see this being a nitrogen deficiency.