Really nice! One thing I liked in the earlier shots was the lower growth of the Rotalla green. As it has matured there is a dark band across the middle which is pretty noticeable now, something that always happens as stems run up. Replanting low can fix that easy. The reds are so strong I thought, whoo Photoshop color balance tweaking, but that is beautiful R. wallachii. Have you thought of moving the anubia in total shade. They do great there.
Curious that you said the 40 watts keeps the plants small. I am surprised at that long of photoperiod. Do you mean they won't grow leggy and race up with plenty of wpg / light? I guess that's true. Anyhow, sweet work here. Makes me want to up my wattage.
There is almost no tweaking in photoshop. The only reason why I have to do any tweaking is because the light is so bright I need to filter it out. As far as the deep red colors, that is natural.... and not a photoshop trick. If you saw this tank in person you would realize how red the plants really are. The only plant that I am not happy with is the Ammannia. I can get it orange, but not the deep red that I want. Although last night while I was thinking of removing it I decided that it is nice to have an orange plant. I put so much Iron and Phosphate in this tank every other day that I still can't believe how much these plants actually soak them up. Like I have said before, it isn't the size of the tank, its the amount of nutrients the plants consume. I am going to start dosing even more iron and phosphate, so much that you guys will think I am crazy.
The Rotala sp. green is looking real nice. You will see when I update tonight. The HM has covered up the dark stems that you are talking about, and I am starting to get the look that I have wanted.
The anubias just dont fit in this aquascape, in my opinion. The tank is too small to attempt to have them shaded, and where they are now is causing them to get burned. I am going to trim it and let the HC grow on the driftwood even more. HC will thrive when I unshade it by clipping the anubia leaves.
The massive amount of light and photo-period is helping to keep the plants very compact. If I were to use less light it would definitely not look the same. When plants get plenty of light they will not grow in a manner in which they are "searching" for better light. Instead they will prosper and keep a real compact design.
I do not have any test kits other than a ph tester. Last time I checked my Ph was around 6.2. Other than that I have no clue what my CO2, KH, and nitrates are. I do not dose any nitrates in this tank for several reasons.. 1. I have RCS and that is asking for disaster if I overdose on the nitrates. 2. The RCS poop so much that I am positive the plants are getting plenty of nitrates from that alone 3. I believe that nitrates should only be dosed when you have very few inhabitants compared to your tank size. With this 10 gallon and the amount of RCS there is plenty of poop to go around. However, if I were to have a 120gallon with the same amount of inhabitants then I would probably have to get a NO3 test kit and dose NO3 in order to supplement the deficiency.
I have not updated this journal in over 2 weeks. Tonight I will update and actually take pictures using my DSLR camera instead of the old simple Nikon that I was using for all the previous pictures. I will take a lot of good pics and post them.