Thanks for the information.
Did some double checking on the piping layout of my house, shame on the home builders - even outside bibs are hooked up after the softener. (Now it makes sense why I'm running out of salt so fast when pool season comes around.)
I'll have to bust out the old torch and add a faucet before the softener. Luckily the softener is in a closet ~15 feet from the tank.
Thanks for the detailed information. When reading how Barr does the low-light setup, he doesn't do any water changes at all.
Are you primarily doing water changes due to the added C02 and extra fert's?
(Even though he does add fert's.)
I'm just looking to establish a healthy and growing tank.
Don't mind doing the work of water changes.
Seems like the soft water may be the big problem ATM. (In addition to rectifying the lighting situation.)