I feel as if this thread has gone around and around and around and we should "start over" per say...
max 8 hours per day. If algae continues drop to 6 hours.
None, no ambition to, that's fine. Use Excel at the "after water change" rate DAILY.
Use Thrive to target 10ppm NO3 per week. Even 15ppm. Maybe dose 10ppm NO3 after a water change, then give the tank another shot 1/2 way through the week.
55 gallon tank -- 50 gallons actual water -- 5ppm NO3 Thrive = 14 - 15 mL.
So, 30mL after a WC then a mid week shot of 14mL's ???
Clean all affected plant tissue, clean filter regularly, 50% WC weekly minimum.
gH was 4 degrees if I remember? Might be worth boosting 1-2 degrees higher. Optional of course... But you may see a repose depending on your tapwater gH make-up (Ca dominant vs Mg dominant)
Root tabs are a "must" in my opinion on the rooty swords / crypts / vals ... of course this is my experience and I use tabs in my low tech tanks VERY liberally.
Plant selection is key, most of the one's you've specified can work. They will take some time to grow, and you'll have to manually make them look better by pruning, cleaning and physically shaping the plant growth patterns. Because lower tech / lower light = slower growth, you will need patience lol ! That is a tough part for me in low tech.
If you want some faster growing stems, myriophyllum species are a must.
I see loads of potential in your tank, it will just take some dedication and patience for you to really take it to the next level!
Start a journal up maybe? To document your progression and let other chime in on ways to help. It makes asking questions easy, and keeps all your info in one place rather then having to re-state all your parameters / lighting / fertilizers / tank specs etc.
If you want all the help we can offer. Try posting all relevant info again so we can make the best recommendations.
As soon as I get this bacteria / water column algae bloom fixed, I will go ahead and update my 90 gallon journal. Not much has changed.
I invite you to check out my low tech Journal see here: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...light-90g.html