Ken first let me say you are doing a great job on documentation. When I got started, I didn't document anything. Changed fert dosing on a whim (whack-a-mole), and couldn't remember what I was doing when or why. Now like you, I track every single thing I can think of. When you are trying to make decisions based on cause and effect, those notes will serve you well.
Had a chance just now to look over your numbers more carefully. FWIW, I'll give you my thoughts.
First is that I doubt micro changes made much difference. Your numbers are on the low side for many micros, and nothing looks anywhere near toxic numbers, at least to me. Is there a reason you lowered B/Cu and raised Zn?
I did note you reduced K via lower K2CO3 dosing. So you went from total K per week of about 51 down to about 37ppm. I did exactly the same about 3 weeks ago, and have also seen a positive response. Theory is N & P are more available with lower K (Mulder's chart).
Also noted you lowered Ca/Mg. I may be going in that direction as well, so will be curious to hear about any other changes you have noticed in the tank.
Now all that mumbo jumbo being said, could also be related to reduction in plant mass. Did you notice some of the improvements when you beat back the jungle? Couldn't tell when you were at peak mass or when you trimmed it down.
Anyway, all interesting stuff and good food for thought.
For Zn, I decreased the amounts, from 0.03 down to 0.006. I though it said 0.06 when I looked at it after your comment, but on the second look I realized it was less.
The Jungle Mode photo was taken back in Sept. I haven’t let it get to that mode since, I sort of like seeing the fish!
Up until Oct 19 I was dosing CSM+B for micros and Aquavitro Mineralize for kH/GH boosters. On 10/20/18 I started with custom recipes with ferts I purchased from @burr740
. In addition, on Nov 2, I stopped using Minerailze and started to use K2CO3, CaSO4.2HO and MgSO4.7H2O. At first, the plants did well, but by Nov 10 I was noticing some issues, the java moss became a little messy, say straggly, and the japan carpet lost a little color and stopped growing as fast as it had been growing. I made some corrections, but by the end of November maybe 60% plants were not growing near as well. But the other 40% were doing better. Because I had increased the dosage amounts of Micros and GH/KH boosters all roughly the same time, there was no way to tell what was causing the issues. So, I looked at what my ppm’s were when I was dosing CSM+B, when the tank was going really well, and I figured that I could probably still be good at 50% greater ppms, so I reset the recipe to approximately 150% of my old CSM+B amounts and substantially lowered the KH/GH amounts, which is the 12/2/18 version. With that things went back to normal. Looking back, most likely the cause may have been too much K, Ca and Mg.
This was really a good learning experience, because what I learned was don’t increase everything at once, because if an issue arises, it’s impossible to pinpoint what’s causing the issues. The other thing I learned is we’ll never obtain the perfect dosing regime because different plants react differently to the ppm’s in our aquariums.
You mentioned that I was not close to toxic amounts, but I’m thinking we need to have a term, say tolerance level, for our plants, because I believe some plants respond differently to certain ppm amounts. As and example, my monte carlo carpet really like the 11/2/18 recipe, but the HC hated it.
I had a local laboratory test the water right before the last water change and right before I switched to the 12/2/18 recipe, out of curiosity to see what the results were. The test results are per below, with a comparison to my dosing amounts following afterward. Any comments or suggestions from all would be appreciated.