Will, is that HC I see in your tank? I tried growing some of that but it didn't fair too well with the gravel I had, which looks similar to yours. Are you using pressurized CO2? What about ferts? You're clearly doing something right.
Yes, that's HC and it's been easier than I expected to get going. I should do a post of its progression in my tank (I have photos over the months showing progress and problems). Need some time to put that together, but to answer you immediate questions:
90g with Eco Complete Black substrate
208W T5 lighting, on from 1-3pm, off till 5, then on till midnight (9 hours)
CO2 injection set to yellow/green on drop checker
EI dosing method weekly with 50-60% water change by H20 volume (H20 volume is 80g)
100% RO water for changes (I stopped using tap all together after a few mysterious algae blooms)
NO3: .5 at start of EI cycle; 0.1 or 0.0 by the end
PO4: .1 at start of EI cycle; .05 by the end
Add 15g baking soda at start of EI cycle (KH 3-4)
Add 15g Tom Barr's GH booster at start of EI cycle (GH 3)
Plantex CSM+B when I remember! (2g added the day after water change - maybe)
I've also used the spot treatment method with Excel on patches of thread algae when it appeared a couple of times. The treatment stunted the spot in the HC where treated, but it killed the algae and the HC recovered after 2 weeks or so. Sadly, I lost an beautiful clump of Java fern (rotted slowly over the course of 3-4 weeks from the roots up until I noticed and it was too late to save). I also slowly lost about 6-7 shrimp (first Amanos, then Malaysian) over the course of 2-3 months. I blame all that on the Excel treatments for some reason.