Plants are looking better after just a couple of applications. Hoping I'm going in the right direction. Question, though... What is the best way to clean the substrate? I assume a lot of the ferts are going to settle into it to feed the plants, right? At the same time, I want to get rid of all the garbage. Should I just vacuum it as if it weren't planted?
Also, tips on addition ferts/nutrients extremely welcome.
You don't want to vacuum as if it were not planted. lightly skim over the substrate, but don't push your syphon down in the gravel. Especially not near your plants. You'd be possibly damaging roots and taking away their nutrients.
Have you figured out your lighting routine yet? How long are they running?