Thanks! You are both very nice.
I'm going to be ripping the whole thing apart since I finally got the onyx sand that I wanted to use in the beginning.
All of the Vals have to go so I can use Excel. I intend to begin ferts once I've redesigned it all so, hopefully, I can find a balance between the lights, co2 (via excel) and ferts.
I've seen some really nice looking nanos, but I have a hard time figuring out how they did it. Give me something technical, and I can probably do okay with it. Give me something that requires design work, and I'm completely lost.
Maybe I'll play with some ideas on my computer before I do anything for real. Once I rip it all up, I will need to get it put back together with the new design pretty quickly since it already has fish.
That is not too bad. I think that the 27 watt lighting without c02 may be the cause of a lot of that algae. If that is green thread algae you could throw in a florida flag fish, black molly, or even florida flag fish and the algae will be toast. You can also use H202 treatment to attack it. Using a floating plant like cardamine lyrata may well help with the issue long term. But these are all only band aid solutions that do not address the cause.
I don't know if you have seen Tom Barr's low tech suggestion, but it may be worth exploring.
I set up a 5 gallon using this method and dose excel daily. With every water change, I dose a dash of nitrates, phosphates, Seachem Equilibrium, and Yamato Green for trace elements. The Amano Shrimp have double in size and are almost as big now as the 2 Dwarf Aquatic frogs, and the oto is still alive and kicking. The plants that appear to be doing really well in this tank are the apongenton bulbs, cardamine lyrata, ambulia, hygrophilia polysperma, and anubias nana and coffefilia.