"Algae isn't an issue in a DSM tank" - FALSE.
BGA can be an issue, I read after starting this one, and sure enough it is. It's not really visible unless a rock is removed, allowing access to the lower substrate, as you can see below.
Looking at the far left of the picture though, you can see regular green algae on the sand and the toothlike rock.
- leave a spot below grade where you can drain excess water. A rock is ideal for this.
- spritzing enough to keep plants moist on bare rock adds a surprising amount of water to the tank.
I foresee a Maracyn treatment once flooded to kill the BGA. Hopefully the shrimp will deal with the remaining green algae.
The first batch of MP - long strip on the bottom center - has turned dark brown and may have died. The second batch is mixed in but still okay.