Oh that's too bad about the flame moss. I'd love to figure out why I can't grow anything and also my fish die a lot. But I have been down this road many times here and I think people are going to get sick of me always asking.
My tank is 29 gal, 30" by 18" high and I think it's 12" deep. Eco-complete substrate. My water is hard or so I'm told--it's from a well. My mom said they tested it a number of years ago and it's high in either manganese or magnesium (she can't remember). I should try to find the old test report. It maintains a very steady pH of 7.6. That's what it is out of the tap and what it is in my tank even if I haven't cleaned it in a while. And I always get the same readings: no ammonia or nitrites and 5 ppm nitrates. These have never changed and I don't really bother to test much anymore because I never get different readings even if it's right after a water change or when I've been lazy and it's over due for a water change.
I have a HOB filter. The lighting is a T5 NO coralife fixture with 6,700K and colormax bulb, each one is 18 watts. I am just about to replace them. Couldn't fine a colormax so I decided to just go with two 6,700K bulbs this time.
No CO2 or ferts. I did just order some dry first from someone here and plan to dose them at half the amount recommended by the sticky in the fert section.
The tank's been set up for about 2 years. All the fish I had in it to start with have died except for I have 3 original japonica shrimp left. Right now I have 3 madagascar rainbows that I know are going to outgrow the tank but they don't grow much so I think I have a while to go before I have to think about that. They seem to do ok with the hard water though which is a first. And then I have one very small dwarf gourami.
I do a 15-20% water change every two weeks. I scrape down the glass when I do the water change. And then I clean out the filter in between but probably I should do it more often. By clean out I just mean rinse everything and get the debris out of the intake. I can't really vacuum the substrate because of the MM so it is pretty dirty. Not sure what to do about that. I try to vacuum the parts that I can. There isn't much MM anymore but it's kind of spread out.
I forgot to add I was dosing with excel but it didn't seem to be helping with the algae so I have recently not bothered.