I was interested in your post as we have similar tanks. I am no expert and started my planted tank a little over three months ago and I am about to add Discus this weekend.
As you can see we have many similar plants. My poorest growers so far have been the Amazon Swords and the Red Melon Swords, but they are starting to come around . I have had no luck with HC. It took many weeks for most of the plants to show new growth.
Eco Complete substrate. Gieseman 48", 54w T5 bulbs. Two Aquaflora for 12 hours, plus two Mid Day for 6 hours. Temp 82 degrees. W->D filter with bioballs and a 700 gph sump pump. I have a spray bar that gives a fair amount of surface movement. Ph 7.4, Nitrates .5ppm, phos.<.5ppm. I have used Pfertz plant tabs and their Macro and Micro supplements along with Excel every other day. 50% WC every week. 10 Rummy Nose, 10 Cories and two Bistlenose.
I have yet to see algae but I am sure it will happen. And I am not sure if you can have your cake and eat it too as far as plants and Discus are concerned. One thing I have seen commonly in the threads is to avoid trying to feed and grow young discus in a planted tank. I read all sorts of opinions on when to add the Discus.
The only difference I can see between our set ups is the amount of light and filter size/flow, and probably a little dumb luck.
Last edited by SMB; 12-05-2012 at 02:54 PM.