After cutting out NO3 for 2 weeks and KH2PO4 / CSM+B for 1 week and a few 50%+ water changes, it was pretty clear that the tank was in need for a reset. I saw positive responses across all plants, so now I am back to square 1 for figuring out dosing amounts, but that's okay with me.
But, no algae outbreak, no high NO3 values and some new growth on previously stunted plants has me a bit more excited to get things going again with the tank.
What new? Added some Praecox rainbows, not the best bred fish, a lot of them just "waste" away, but they were "on sale" and didn't look too bad at the fish store, so I'll take a chance with them for now. Also added an Aquatic Life Modular LED strip which is a combo of 460nm blue and 10,000K white. To me it really made the green plants pop and did not affect the red colours in a negative way. It also really helped wash out the slightly yellow hue from the Fluval 2.0. It is strictly for viewing, with very low output LED's, so it either sat collecting dust in storage, or I could try it out
I think I am going to front load macros, and dose by the textbook for micros, might do EI "light" with the micros until I see some real growth from the plants.
TDS is around 145ppm for my water change water, which after this week's 60% resulted in the tank having 190ppm, so mostly "reset" in terms of ferts + waste that was in the water a few weeks ago. I think I saw the best growth when it was just above 200ppm after 2 doses of macros + micros, which it should be after I front load today.
NO3 is right in between 5 - 10ppm, so I feel comfortable dosing KNO3 again, I'm still slightly surprised I had it 80ppm+ without me knowing a few weeks ago. Fish waste + plant uptake seems to be fairly balanced, after last weeks water change NO3 was 10-20ppm, and this week is 5-10ppm with no KNO3 dosing and a 60% WC.
I may have also seen some Fe deficiency, so I'll try out some Flourish Iron to combat my >7 pH. Check out the pic of the R. macrandra, I wonder where the stunting was.... Still not the best new growth, but certainly an improvement.
Gh - 7
pH - 7.5 w/ 1.1 drop to 6.4 w/ CO2