Okay, bare with me here. I took a crack at plantedtAnk about 3 years ago and fail miserbly. So now I'm back and want to do it right. I've read the whole thread on EI dosing and search this forum like crazy but I'm still confused. I'm more of a physical visual type person than reading on paper. I currently have a 40gal which is heavily planted. I'm using pressurized co2 and running t5ho. The only ferts I've been doising are Flourish comprehension, potassium, and iron. 2x weekly. The only algae problem I have is GSA.
EI is about as simple as it's going to get, if you are confused, then it may be from over thinking things/worry wart.
Add ferts(there are 3-4 things only to add), do water change to prevent build up.
That's pretty simple.
The toilet is full, flush it.
40 Gal tank with T5's, this is a fair amount of light, even if it's 2 x 39W.
I'd run decent current, good filtration.
Add plenty of plants.
I think the issue for most has much more to do with too much light and not enough CO2/poor usage of CO2.
Nutrients are easy.
It's not all about nutrients, they are just one aspect plants need.
If you want better growth, in general, focus your efforts of watching the tank, and adjusting the CO2 slowly and carefully over time. Do not rush, do not get impatient.
For a 40 Gal tank with sand/flourite EC etc:
KNO3 2-3x a week 1/2 teaspoon
KH2PO4: 1/8th teaspoon 3x a week
Add 1 tablespoon of the CMS+B to 1 liter of water, add 10mls of this 3x a week
GH booster: 1 teaspoon after water change
Do a weekly 50%(or more, or a little less, up to you)
You can modify it to suit after..........you fully master good CO2(much more difficult than anything nutrient related).
The other option is to use something like soil or ADA aqua soil alogn with water column dosing, this makes dosing the water column easier and more forgiving.
So lower light, good CO2 focus and just general consistent dosing.