I'm having a hard time uploading images, so here's my imgur link: https://imgur.com/a/jOhHp
Story time: My dad initially had a 55 gallon that he took care of, which I liked, but didn't really know much about. Fish in his tank died pretty frequently and he never knew how to help them, so I usually jumped in to help. I realized pretty quickly that the fish weren't being taken care of properly. Small water changes were done every month or two, he was overfeeding fish to an extreme, not quarantining or looking for signs of illness, didn't test water or understand the nitrogen cycle, etc... He really didn't pay much attention to the fish and wouldn't notice when they died, which would cause ammonia spikes and more fish would die. I eventually talked with him about it and we decided it would be best if I took over the fish tank, which was just a few months ago.
I soon learned that the 55 had a long crack going up the side of it from a faulty stand, so I had to replace the tank. I upgraded the fish to a 75 and used cinderblocks and wood for a stand. I switched the substrate from painted gravel to sand for the corydoras. I took out the fake plants and started live ones. I kept some of the resin decorations because I think they'll look cool when the plants grow in more.
The fish are now doing great and I'm working on getting the fish up to their proper schools. I'm currently struggling with the plant aspect of this tank. I bought this light for the tank, https://www.amazon.com/Beamswork-Tim...70_&dpSrc=srch
, which I believe would be considered "low light." I have water sprite, swords, anubias, java fern, java moss, moss balls and some anarcharis. I have killed quite a few plants and the ones in there now seem to be doing ok, but not great. I was using Seachem Flourish once a week, but the plants seemed like they needed more, so I bought the dry fertilizer Macro Mix from aquariumfertilizer, which was probably a mistake. The mix uses equal parts KNO3, MgSO4, K2SO4, and MKP. I take 1/4 cup of this mix and dilute it to 2 cups of water. I then use 5 mL of the mix every nearly every day (I dose Flourish once a week to get micros), which is the smallest recommendation on the directions. After some research, I've learned that this is problematic because the macros are all needed in different ratios. I'm considering getting a new mix from Nilocg, but it's a little expensive, so I'm waiting and hoping to find a cheaper option. I also use osmocote root tabs under the swords.
Any comments would be very helpful! My goal is to have this tank filled with easy, low-tech plants that the fish can interact with and hide in. I think I really need help with fertilizers and finding a good dosing schedule, the most. Plant suggestions are also welcome. I'm considering getting jungle vals to provide more shelter for the fish soon.