The gunk is poo, un-eaten food (I think?) and... well, it just looks like brown fluff. I'm not entirely sure WHAT it is, to be honest. It's everywhere. The substrate, the plants, the driftwood....
I am dosing (very infrequently) with Excel Comprehensive. I had a member on another forum talk me into this: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...e-pps-pro.html
I'm not sold on it simply because it's way more complex than I ever wanted to get in to. I don't doubt that it works, but it's just way more effort than I wanted to put into this hobby.
I have root tabs in, but other than that, I don't do much. My plants have never thrived and I'd say about half of the plants I've purchased have died. I've lost well over $100 in plants. Some nice, stuff too.
They either die or just don't thrive.
I would be willing to try cories again (esp since my stock is reduced from fish deaths), but I don't know how much food even reaches the bottom... The remaining fish pretty much gobble it all up at the surface. One of my peacock gudgeons died the other day (she was really really thin) and I wonder if it's from her not getting enough food. They are bottom dwellers and never really come to the surface, even at feeding time.
Thanks so much for your input! I really appreciate it.