I guess I am way overdue for an update. Things have been progressing in a mostly good, sometimes frustrating manner, which I guess is the way it goes when you're dealing with living things.
Anyways, right after my last update I got real busy and didn't dose ferts for a week. The slimy brown diatom-like growth went away. I dosed again, just for a day or two, the next week. It came back. Stopped dosing. It went away. So, guess what? No more fert dosing for me. Even after my treatise a few months ago on dosing theory, I had basically defaulted to EI dosing with a weekly water change. Now I've basically stopped both and things are happy, though growing a little slower. Which honestly is OK with me.
Then disaster struck. About a week ago my CO2 tank ran empty and spiked. It killed at least 30 or 40 of the neons, but the other fish all survived. So now I have a rather empty tank again. I really liked the neons so I may just restock with them, or whatever other small cheap fish the LFS has in stock. I really loved the whole "giant swarm of tiny fish" thing. That's something I never got with marine aquariums, so I think I'm going to stick with it in here.
That's pretty much it. I'll get a photo when I get a chance but it looks about the same, plus a LOT of growth. The tiger lotuses have done their usual thing and taken over with surface leaves, which I am going to leave for now since they look really cool and create a patchwork of light/dark areas which adds interest.
The tank is pretty much on auto pilot where all I'm doing is feeding, which is right where I want it. Summer is busy, and I have another hobby project gearing up, so I don't really have the time for a lot of maintenance anyways.
Oh, one last thing. I feel like I have to mention an indirect benefit of the tank's overall design/construction. The top is eurobraced with plywood, so of course it's opaque. This means there's essentially a shield around the rim that blocks light from hitting the sides of the tank. This in turn means the glass gets very little light, so it doesn't grow a film of algae. The tank has been wet for a few months now and I have yet to clean the glass ONE SINGLE TIME.