Hi guys thanks for all the feedback and Happy Thanksgiving!
, I think am going to get the thrive for low tech tanks, thanks for the tip. I've been doing 15-25% water changes about every other day. A few days ago I cleaned the Fluval media with aquarium water, rinsed out the sponge etc. Brown had algae/diatoms become even worse, today I scrubbed down the tank, wood, and plant leaves and did a 25% water change. The tank also came with an algae UV sterilizer (JUP-23) which I decided to take out now since it seemed like maybe debris was getting trapped inside and not sure if it was helping the algae problem or making it worse.
Just measured Nitrate and I think it's at 40 ppm, thankfully seems a bit lower. I have some dwarf sags in the gravel now, hoping adding the fertilizer will help them take off and help lower nitrates further? Also I've had some trouble vacuuming the gravel with my python - it seems to be a mix of course and fine materials and it keeps clogging up my Python. There does seem to be some debri trapped down there and I'm trying my best to get it all, hoping the dwarf sags can help suck it all up if I get the bottom covered with em.
, I wasn't doing that big of water changes because I heard daily 15% was less stress on fish, but I'll do another 25% tomorrow or the day after and continue, maybe a 50%. Food isn't necessarily high quality, it's what the guy gave me that he was feeding them (dried blood worms and dried veggie flakes). I've been meaning to go get them some frozen bloodworms. I only feed what they can eat in 1-2 minutes. I have a feeling the substrate is a bit clogged with old debris from before I got the tank and when there were so many fish. I also checked my source water which had 0 nitrates (though whoops, I didn't check for ammonia and nitrites in source. I hope they're not high, its my drinking water...).
, I did keep an aerator and added some ammonia when I was trying to keep the media alive. It was kind of a hectic couple of days and I dunno if it worked, but I tried. I bought the Fluval but oh how I wish I could have waited to order an Eheim online, the fluval is noisy! Already tried a couple fixes for the noise I found online but still, I'm picky about sound.