I was using Tropica Specialized before with low light, lower CO2 and while growth was slower especially S. Repens plants were healthy with few visual issues, I had little algae, everything green and healthy see first photo in my journal. Rotala had big firm thick leaves, pogostemon was a lot more full and bushier with thicker stalks , Monte Carlo had bigger more full leaves.
Then I moved the tank to a new house, switching to 'EI' first with Thrive (9ml per week) I had a ton of hair algae, some BBA, some GSA and unhappy thinning stems and a host of other problems. (18,3.4,13 NPK) (0.66 Fe) Weekly Dose.
Tanks was doing very poor I chalked it up to a lot of things, CO2(I raised it a little), Husbandry, Flow, PAR(got meter), light spectrum, CO2(got a pH meter) a little bit of sunlight etc etc. Unfortunately none of those things being changed turned things around.
Went to an insane husbandry schedule, ripped out and cleaned up a ton of plants, turned the light down to 60%, did an Algae Bomb @Deanna
(which removed most of the hair algae), blocked the sunlight. But still new growth was not happy, and I still a little bit of Hair Algae growing. Left things a few weeks with meticulous pruning and cleaning(6+ HOURS PER WEEK) still things were not improving.
Changed the light to Twinstar 600S, moved the lily pipe for better flow, meticulously cleaned every aspect of the tank including the inline diffuser, every bit of tubing, things improved a little but not enough. I was cleaning the filter weekly and doing 60% water changes.
Then I reset, two 50%+ water changes and I switched to all dry Ferts 2-3 weeks ago.
(15/5/13 NPK) (0.45 Fe from DTPA, and pretty much @burr740
Rotala is getting better but still a little stunted with some brown spots, Pogostemon branching and still badly stunted with some hair algae, S. Repens growing faster but still old leaves are getting Hair Algae.
Interestingly Rotala seems to always look better after a water change and lower fertilizer concentrations and worse by the end of the week.
Still not close to as healthy as they could be with many symptoms which cannot be explained by deficiencies its definitely a toxicity which is causing minor deficiencies but noone on TPT has made any diagnosis here despite me posting two threads on the subject.
The only thing that has grown a lot faster was S. Repens but old leaves inevitably get hair algae and other problems.
Rotala is stunted, twisted.
S. Repens old leaves getting Hair Algae.
Pogostemon Erectus stunted badly and branching
Monte Carlo smaller leaves than before but generally okay.
I will post pictures below. Then I will put my new plan into place based on some useful advice from many experienced hobbyists I spoke to over the last two days.
The end Conclusion EI and excess Ferts has really had very deleterious effects on my tank. High plant mass equilibrium is very different from low plant mass tanks and EI is a very poor method of fertilization for my type of tank and plants.
I will do a full reset of my tank 3 / 50% water changes in the next day or so and switch back to Tropica Specialized Green, and I will keep the light at the ~100 par that I have now and report the results. I am writing this in hopes that others don't go through the extremely frustrating road I have gone on.