Ayep! My son is in charge of the water tests now - Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH, and I'll start him on Phosphate ("That's to feed the plants!") - my daughter is the Fish Counter - sometimes I doubt all six Emperor Tetra are still there, until it's feeding time! She counts them up, and bingo. I think those guys are pretty comfortable in the tank now, since they don't school together much anymore. But the Cardinal, down to 3, all huddle up still since they're the new kids. I feel bad for them since you should have 6 to feel comfortable, but since 3 died and the Emperors show no signs of being schooling buddies, all they've got is each other *cry* I have no doubt that the stress of a new tank brought out that neon tetra disease on two of them - hopefully they'll regain health and color as they settle in a bit, like the Emperors have. I am debating getting three more Cardinals and trying to keep it at school level - maybe even 6 for 9 cardinal total and hope that 6 eventually stick around, like the Emperors did. Yeah, the pessimistic approach.
The Platy and Pleco on the other hand are having a grand ol' time. I guess it's nice to be the biggest fish (bullies) in the tank, and have a whole area to yourself (Pleco shares the bottom with the ninja shrimp, although I did catch it slurping on Ludwigia leaves last night, hilariously trying not to fall off those skinny leaves!).
By the way, the CO2 and new lights and ferts are definitely working on the Ludwigia. Those things have taken off! All of them have already reached the surface, while before I think only 2 of 10 have. Some have even sprouted roots on the stem nodes, meaning they're ready for a clip and re-plant. I'll do that in another week or two, I probably have two more spots in the tank that can do with another forest. Plus, I noticed that the top of the leaves are starting to regain their red color, and the brand new shoots are half red already. Even the red cabomba is regaining some red where the new growth is, and the roots are coming in nicely from the cut stem plantings.
Well I feel bad for the Cardinal, but according to this calculator, I'd be maxxing past what's good for the tank if I add 6 more Cardinals. So we just have to hope that the Cardinal and Emperor eventually find solace in each other, and the Cardinal don't stress out too much. Gonna stick with my "no new fauna" promise for now! Those Platy really are active and add lots of bioload, so I get why they kinda dictate what's going on with the smaller fish.