The secret is: there is no secret!
God man, is it really this simple as this thread makes it seem? You have to have some trade secrets. Your tank is amazing. I want to do an ADA mini probably at the beginning of 2014 but I'm afraid to embarrass myself.
LOL~ I received a couple of messages asking about my secret. But honestly, i really don't have any secret to hide. If you read Frank's of ADG thread, you will probably get all the information you need to keep a small tank. Well, my dosing is not as rigid as others because I always forgot to put in ferts in my tank. Maybe ADA aquasoil has all the nutrients plants need. But what I do for my tank that probably most people take for granted is the water change. I changed the water in this tank about 20% twice a week. Then for every 2-3weeks I will change about 70% of the water that is usually when I do the trimming.Thats all the secret that I have.
Well there is no universal guideline that will work for everybody in this hobby. All you need to do is to identify the problem and act quickly to solve it.
But if you have further question regarding technical details about this tank, I'm more than happy to answer, but based on my experiences though. You still need to experiment to get the best results. That's the beauty of this hobby. My first planted tank also was not as successful as this one .
So don't feel embarrassed if you still new in this hobby. there's always first time. Good Luck!