this happened many months ago. i was dosing pretty hard, but i dont remember how much. i remember though, twice, i purchased 3-4 amano shrimp, and in both circumstances, they were dead by morning. i changed back to flourish, not because of the shrimp problem (it took months before i realized how much copper was in the chelated stuff), but the plants were doing bad altoghether, and i had had success with flourish products. the new shrimp batch have done quite well, and the snails are back, so i am guessing it was the plantex.
i have not been a part of the online plant community in years, but was once quite the regular. it is very suprising to read about tom barr's EI. i just read the article last night and was shocked to find out, that was one of the only formulas that worked for me! i have tried EVERY dosing and lighting arrangement, fought EVERY species of algae (remind you, all in the same tank i set up in may of 1998!) and the best success i had, was when i would do huge water changes once a week. i know i would get lazy with my ferts, and either forget, or put too much in, so i never knew 'where' my tank was at. i agree with him that the tests are useless; look at your plants for clues, they are just weeds!
here in SF,CA the water is really soft, virtually nothing in it. it has been really difficult keeping a planted tank, at least for me, and i have spent $$$$$ on all kinds of different ferts and especially test kits (ugg, i should have stock in lamotte). i think letting nitrates get to zero is a real open-door for algae
and i still think the magic nutrient ratio is key, but i only found that sweet spot a few times. the light issue also seemed to help quite a bit, but i ran my tank for years with 80w of FL, no co2, and had great success, albeit not for long stretches. but then again, i think keeping aquariums is about problem solving, i have never tried landscaping, never had enough plants too, and there is a whole forum on it!!
chucks calculator is really great, and i laughed out loud with the new windows based gui, super cool! i am going to try tom's new scheme, probably should buy his subscription, and see what happens.
70% water changes are hysterical, all your plants bunch up; must freak out the fish!
29g - 2x55w pc - pressure co2 - 80% flourite (7 yrs old!)
3 sae - 3 amano
all doing pretty bad!