One year update!
So I essentially shut down these tanks last summer, a month or so after my last post...algae maintenance and frustration was taking up too much of my time. I gave away all my fauna, including the oto babies, to the LFS. I removed most of the plants, and essentially left the tanks to their own devices, with very infrequent water changes and no ferts...although I left the CO2 running. There were literally sheets of algae I'd remove every month or so. I also started reducing the photoperiod every so often, from 8hrs all the way down to 4hrs. When I hit 4 hrs, I noticed something interesting...the algae started to die back significantly, and the remaining plants starting to grow.
So, I started these puppies up in earnest again with the 4 hr photoperiod in December, and these tanks have had good plant growth and, more importantly, have had manageable algae since.
Moral of the story? I wish I had purchased different lights. And, plants can grow with a 4 hr photoperiod. Only real fail was glosso...which would not creep w/ that photoperiod, but grew vertical instead. Also java moss is growing painfully slowly...which may not be a bad thing.
And the viewing angle from my couch