Ok, here is my update with pics I just took this evening, and what I have done to the tank recently. As I was saying I was going to do earlier, I did add some new fish to the tank to repair the damage I (stupidly) did to its population by setting the temperature too high. I added in 5 Bronze/Emerald Cories, and 12 Cardinal Tetras. The tank is much livelier now, I LOVE the great contrast that I get from the Cardinals, and my lone Leopard Cory seems perfectly happy to swim around with his new Bronze buddies, even though one is easily twice his size (no more hiding!)
I'd suggest anyone reading this to look at my first post on the first page for my updated photo timeline...I think it's really neat to see the all of the photos from when I had just started the tank in July, to how it looks now lushly grown in and full of fish. It would also give an idea of plant growth rates in a low tech tank to anyone who is interested. The only change I've made in my fert schedule is to fill in the days a bit more...I dose Pfertz N on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday now (vs. Monday and Friday before,) and Flourish on Tuesday and Thursday now (vs. just Wednesday before.) I still dose Excel daily, and I change out 15-20 gallons of water every Sunday.
The only plant that has still not taken back off is my sword...instead of putting out big leaves, it split off and grew a second small plant. I guess it will grow upwards again eventually.
Enough talking, here are the pics. First, the newest FTS:
Left side, a closeup of the dwarf sag, anubias (with its flower!,) bacopa, and some of the crypts.
Right side, a closeup of my water sprite (an annoying plant btw, it keeps putting out roots mid-stem and floating, causing me to have to keep re-planting it,) java fern, crinum, crypts, and a ton of x-mas moss:
Another angle (and a great shot of two of my Rainbows...they have grown and colored up really nicely!):
Anubias flower closeup:
Lengthwise down the tank:
From my couch:
Random closeups of fish:
All in all things have been going really well with the tank. I do need to clean the canister filter again soon, but other than that it is simple maintenance and lots of relaxing fish watching