So, I seemed to grow plants fairly well up until January, when I ditched CSM+B and went to making my own traces:
Since then, I haven't noticed the dramatic improvement that so many of you have experienced. Ammania Senegalensis went downhill, so I traded notes with Vin (Saxa Tilly) and tried lowering P for a while - cold turkey for a few weeks then no more than 1 ppm per week. I never got bad GSA, nor was there much improvement in the Ammania. I believe it likes lower ferts in the water column.
About a month ago, after seeing Burr's and Greggz's success with higher macros, I ramped them up to 25/6/30 ppm per week, plus Burr's trace recipe at 0.2 ppm Fe 3-4 times per week. After three weeks of this, things look pretty bad. Keep in mind CO2 has been high - I've verified 1.3 pH drop in the worst location, and nearly gassed fish. Growth has stalled in most plants, and it seems like something is hindering nitrate and K uptake - I get leaf shedding and more pinholes in hygro than you would think with 30 ppm K per week, and the plant has hardly grown at all. And GDA is appearing on more and more plants, and also the glass. Worst it has been in ages. Here are some recent pics:
NOTE: Photos aren't loading on PlantedTank - see the recent pics here:
New stunting in AR:
Almost no growth in hygro corymbosa, with pinholes:
Pogo Erectus nubs just sit there and do nothing for weeks, next to scraggly Ammania Senegalensis:
Anubias covered in algae, in lowest light portion of the tank:
Almost all stems have slowed down - Bacopa, Acmella Repens, Ludwigia Repens, Persicaria Sao Paulo, Hygro. Over a month ago I put Ammania in a garden soil pot with plenty of Osmocote balls. It looks like this-it seems to get vertically taller but always looks awful:
GH is 5.5 from tap and I raise it 2 degrees with CaSO4 since ratio with Mg is about 1:1.
KH is 3.
Lights: One BML Dutch XB at 75%, one T8 strip with FloraSun, two T5HO (color max and FloraSun) bulbs on the front of the tank, over deliberately dirty glass covers. I'm not killing the tank with PAR.
I really don't know what the problem is. My guess is that I'm dosing more traces than I think, since AR got wavy and stunted. Maybe all the SO4 from the K and Ca addition over the weeks and months is adding up and causing trouble.
Today I did a 75% water change, added only 3 tsp CaSO4, 1.5 tsp KNO3, 1/2 tsp K2SO4, 1/4 tsp KH2PO4 and 0.1 ppm Fe/trace. It just looks like I can't dose anywhere near what Burr and Greggz do on their great tanks. Tank is 155 gallons with BDBS. Hoping that lower SO4 and traces will get things back on track.