Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: California for school, Arkansas for home
15 gallon ( 50%) water changes weekly don't seem too bad in my opinion. It's only 3 5 gallon buckets after all. I'd keep the water changes, since you are heavily stocked with fish. I'd skip the EI dosing, since the plants have the Osmocote and the fish waste. If the tank starts getting algae, then do a pre-emptive blackout, and cut down lighting. Alternatively, if the plants start to die, then you can start advising on dosing depending on symptoms (ie. potassium deficiency, nitrate, phosphate deficiency, etc. then add X Y Z)
Then again, I'm more of a fish geek not a plant professor. Good luck on your surgery! I hope all goes well!
So many fish to keep, not enough aquaria.