Try cutting your tap with RO, say 50/50 or more RO, let it set out for 24hrs then measure PH and GH. You might find itís pretty easy to bring your tanks ranges down into more acceptable plant tank ranges.
I myself only use RO and add a few minerals and couple leaves back in for GH of 4-5 and PH around 6.6-6.8. My thoughts are if youíve got RO use it, there are a lot of other compounds it removes beside softening water. The cost of minerals are inconsequential in my 7gal or your 10gal size tanks. Youíll be totally surprised the way your tank will turn around if you just start using remineralized RO water. Just start slowly weaning your tank off the hardwater and dechlorinators, when shifting GH/PH make small slow changes. Once you get a formula for mixing up your water itís basically no harder than what you do now. And if your getting inferior results are you really keeping your tank maintenance low, when tank and plants thrive maintenance always goes down. Constantly fighting deteriorating plants and algae is not making your tank low maintenance, just the opposite.
Anyway going by pics, if thatís representative of light levels in tank youíve got low light at level japan is at. Probably not going to do much.
I agree with you, I might start to add RO water into my tank slowly and hopefully it'll make some changes. Although, for the most part the crypts/buce/moss and some other "easier" plants I have in my tank don't seem to have any particular problems so far. I do often have my anubias nana petite getting green spot algae on old leaves tho, which does bother me some. But you are right, I do want my plants to thrive overall so I can lessen the maintenance and see them healthy.
Also, I have to mention that actually for a long while I had my lighting at a much dimmer setting because I had only very slow growing plants at the time and I figured that blasting the light was probably not necessary. After I planted in the hydrocotyle, it was still under a dimmer light for about the first two weeks until I realize the hydrocotyle was slowly deteriorating and I figured maybe the low lighting was not allowing them to establish correctly so then I bumped the lighting intensity way up. It's been about two weeks since then. The picture does look a bit dim but in real life if it quite bright. The only thing is that the hydrocotyle is in a bit of a shaded area and not in the full light. I'll take your advice and keep up with an extra dose of ferts and see if the hydroctyle starts to pick up.
That sounds like a lot of light on a 10g without co2. How are the other plants doing?
Yes, you are right. Actually my lighting was at a dimmed setting (probably around 40% intensity) for a long while because I didn't have too much plant mass and the plants I did have were slow growing and I wanted to keep my light on for a longer period of time for more viewing. I think my low light made them grow even slower than they already do though. But I feel that I was able to have a relatively algae free tank with the exception of some green spot algae on the glass and on a few anubias leaves. However I've gotten quite a few more plants that are quicker growing and I felt that a brighter light was probably necessary. I don't think I'm on the highest intensity setting though, I think there's a setting that's even more bright than the one I have now.
Other plants seem to be fine, the newest ones (just added like 5 new plants a couple weeks ago) seem to be growing healthy but some of my older crypt parva leaves are starting to get some algae on them and the affected anubias leaves seem to be getting more algae on them. Also my hob filter outflow has some hair algae or some kind of long green stringy algae attached to it that flows like seaweed as the water comes through lol. It grows pretty fast because it's directly in the sight of the light. That's the only place I see the hair algae growing though. I kind of just pluck them out when I do maintenance and then they just grow back lol