I honestly cant believe I have a deficiency in my ferts at any point, like cl3537 says it's most likely bad flow and co2. My primary concern was calcium due to salty shrimp, but I think everything else will be good.
Neither do I.
So my next steps are going to be somewhat difficult I suppose. I have to try and get this tank meticulous, whilst having these shrimp. I dont think it can be done if I'm entirely honest.
Moving the shrimp until you grow in the tank may be the best solution, you can increase CO2 and not have to worry about deaths.
I have been doing the 50 percent water changes weekly and keeping up with the filter. However, haven't done anything like vacuuming as it would simply uproot all my carpet.
Blow the carpet with a turkey baster and then vacuum above it at the same time. Don't vacuum the carpet directly until it is firmly rooted and established and even then depends on the power of your vacuum.
While I know that this hardscape may be causing some issues, I cannot believe that I would be able to have it like this an be successful. There must be some way right?
With enough healthy plant mass algae will be reduced, the challenge is getting there. While getting there reducing light is your best defense of algae. Plants won't die with shorter photoperiods(assuming you have too strong light which appears to be the case) they just don't grow as fast.
Today will be a lot of work on the tank, I hope I can get this under control. Bumping the lights down another 20 percent seems terrifying, I know algae will take a hit, but my plants are already suffering enough. Tough road to success I suppose.
Reduce the photoperiod to no more than 6 hours, you might want to get a manual power timer if the light only moves in 3 hour blocks.
Will report my progress here and on my journal.
Best of luck, hope things turn around. I may be having a similar problem to you and I am considering removing large pieces of my hardscape.
I was looking for a small powerhead which would help with flow problems, I couldn't find one weak enough for a 9 gallon (not even for my 17g) but that is something worth considering.