Thanks for the insight, zoo minsi! I also think I'm going to stay away from DIY CO2. The only reason I really considered it was because of algae. But lately, I haven't really seen the algae grow worse. Maybe my tank is stabilizing a bit. Maybe the SAE and otos are helping. I do have photo period that includes a 4 hour siesta. Plus, the plants are obviously taking up a lot of the nutrients. So, I'm cool not having CO2. Love the low-tech. It's still fairly lush, still has some red and bronze hues, still has some carpeting plants, and all of this without the added cost and stress of CO2 and ferts.
Nice looking tank, seems like its off to a good start. A few things to think about though.
Im personally not a fan of diy Co2 especially as tanks get bigger. Can it work, yup. However with diy you create a yeast mixture, this is a living thing. The co2 is not going to be as consistent as with a tank and regulator. Its cheaper but you have to stay on top of starting new batches so that you constantly have one ready for the tank.
As for the light if its to bright two easiest things to do are either raise it higher or add a layer of window screen over it to diffuse the light some.
BBA is a massive pain and high light without proper co2 are a guarantee for growing it like mad. Any leaves that have it on them cut them loose there doomed. You can also try spot treating BBA with a syringe and hydrogen peroxide. ive had some luck with that.
Hi-tech tanks are great they grow fast and have awesome colors, but they also bring with them a lot more problems. I see a lot of people start in this hobby and get discouraged because there tank takes a massive dump a few months in. With low tech its a slower process but i feel its also more forgiving.
Good luck going forward cant wait to see some more updates