This will probably be pretty noobler in questions, but I'm kind of at a wits end and need some advice/help.
A few months ago I picked up an innovative marine 16 gal aquarium. I'm still currently using the stock skyye clamp 8w 10k lamps. Along with it, gla's atomic diffuser and regulator for co2 are also used. I went with the ada substrate system (full thing: power sand, aquasoil, and additives).
Up to this point, I've been following frank wazeter's old mixed carpet guide on setting up and getting going. And this has worked quite well. However, I'll admit to my rookie mistake that most likely set it off. I was doing 25% water changes every time instead of 50% because I wasn't sure on getting the water back in due to the tank's design without disturbing the 'scape. I have since corrected this with a shelf nearby for me to do a siphon back from a bucket slowly into the tank. Assuming what I've read is right, hair pops out because of high nitrates which most likely had happened as my ammonia was hovering at around .5ppm at this point suggesting the cycle was about complete.
For plants, I went with hc for a carpet, Anubias nana, Ludwigia glandulosa, Bacopa monnieri, and Cryptocoryne spiralis.
Water params are: 0 ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate
Currently dosing with 2 pumps of brighty k and brighty step 1 (due to switch to step 2 soon).
Now, the initial removal of hair algae was done by hitting the tank for a few days with flourish excel (2x full tank dose due to the amount) after doing a 50% water change. That was followed by another 50% water change where I used some airline hose and a toothbrush to clear out the debris. Sadly, I had to remove the ludwigia as it was taken out by the excel as well.
I'm seeing it trying to come back and I've been keeping it at bay as much as I can, but wondering on ideas to improve the situation. The only thing I keep thinking in my head is that there is something wrong with my plants not up taking all the nutrients they get daily to out compete it. The other one is possibly because I have the lights running for 10 hours (dropping to 8 helped some, but it is still growing). With the ludwigia gone and not really being keen on the look the anubias is giving, would faster growing plants help (thinking a red flame where the anubias is and cyrpt wendti green in place of the ludwigia)? Am I correct in assuming the lights are not helping matters any (although, it has been nice not having the common dust/diatom starter outbreak because of it)?
Picture of tank just before the hair really took off: