Whew, I've neglected this thread even worse than I did the tank! I'm really gonna make an effort this time to regularly update this thread, as I'd love to have a real chronological account how things are developing.
SO long story short, I never got around to adding more marimo, and what little marimo I did have got badly choked with diatoms and hair algae. I started adding trimmings of a. reineckii from my other tank to try to add plant mass, but the damage was done. So the tank sat around looking like trash for a couple months before I did a total rescape.
Here's how the tank looked when I first set it up in the beginning of September last year:
And here it is on January 26th, right before I tore it down:
Check out how nasty the marimo had gotten!
So I tore the whole thing down, re-adjusted the slope of the aquasoil, put back in the cave (I like it too much to give up on it just yet), a bit of the reineckii, a few stems of red nesaea, and some UG.
And a couple days later, I received some staurogyne repens, HG, and more UG from H4n.
Here's how the tank looked two weeks later on 2/8/14, thanks to EI dosing and lots of Excel:
Then this past Saturday, the real godsend for this poor tank arrived: my co2 regulator! I got GLA's daul-stage painball regulator. It was kind of intimidating opening that box, but I had no problems with the setup. I'll take a new photo tonight, but here's how the tank looked on Saturday before adding the co2:
I'm really happy with the UG growth I've gotten so far, considering I didn't do a dry start and didn't have pressurized co2. I still need to add some rotala wallichii in that spot behind the s. repens, and replace the regular a. reineckii with the mini type. I'm hoping that the marimo on the cave will recover, but if it doesn't I'll probably replace it with some fissidens.
I also just got a delivery of some Amano shrimp from Mzjinkzd, and they've already made a sizable dent in my algae!
Oh and here's a quick sketch I did of how I hope the tank will turn out: