Struggling with a 55gal planted
Despite my own research and ideas to get this thing to take off I'm having some issues.
Here's the nitty gritty:
I've got a 55gal with Seachem Flourite substrate.
Current stock includes: 2 Angels, 16 Neon Tetras, 1 grumpy bristlenose pleco.
Plants are various swords, dwarf baby tears, Hairgrass, driftwood bonsai with christmas moss "leaves", and 6 marismo moss balls.
I've got a Pennplax 1200 Canister filter down below. Light is a Finnex 24/7+ Planted running the auto 24hour cycle. Injecting CO2 on a timer from 9am-5pm. I'm using a CO2 drop checker with that.
Currently doing weekly 10gal water changes. I predose my water with Prime (per bottle directions), I'm also adding Thrive liquid fert (1pump/10gal), also adding in 1 teaspoon of epsom salt to supplement mag.
Water parameters yesterday (3 days post water change) were as follows:
Nitrate: 60ppm ****
GH & KH: Both 200-400ppm range***
I'm not seeing much in the way of new growth. In fact, my swords are deteriorating and curling their leaves. Even the moss balls are showing brown spots. My expectations at this point were to have to continue to clean dead/dying plants out but was thinking I would have some new growth coming in by now to at least know I'm doing something right.
The fish are doing great, No signs of stress, feeding well and very active.
Why does my Nitrate continue to be so high? Do I need to do something about the hardness?
My plan at this point will be no more epsom salt to decrease additional Mag. Possibly up to 50% water changes?
Any opinions or thoughts?
If I left anything out I'm happy to clarify.