I'm becoming frustrated with my planted tank. I have only been into this hobby for a little over a year but have pretty much spent hours daily for a good period of this doing a ton of reading to learn how to successfully have a beautiful planted tank. I'm now just lost as to what my problem is with my tank. Plants are very difficult to get here (and costly) and after having lost many to algae, lack of growth, etc, I almost feel like giving up.
This is my current setup :
75 Gallon (48" x 21" x 18")
Odyssea T5HO x2 bulbs (54 watts) 6 inches above tank
Fluval FX5 Cannister Filter
200 watt heater (not plugged in for summer, not needed) - stays between 77-80 degrees
10lbs CO2 Tank with milwaukee regulator and atomic diffuser
Mixed Gravel/Flourite substrate
I am dosing EI ferts, co2 is started up approx. 2 hours before lights go on, lights remain on for 6-9 hours. drop checker on each side of the tank, both showing green (right side almost looks yellow by the end of the day). I am unsure of the names of all my plants but these are what I know I have...
Anubias barteri var. barteri
as well as some others too.
I have found that only a few plants are doing well (Limnophila huppuroides/Hygro Polysmema), and most of those aren't showing fast growth. A lot of the plants also seem to be melting on me (i am not dosing excel). In my low light setup, my vals use to grow like crazy, now they don't seem to grow at all and just slowly grow algae at the top of them. When i trim them, they don't seem to grow back much at all. I have BBA on my driftwood and noticed some on the swords, and crypts.
I've read that the stem plants grow faster and therefore eat up all the nutrients before the slower plants can get them. How can this be fixed? Also based off what i've read by Tom Barr it seems that CO2 is the magic to plant growth, but I feel i can't raise my bubble rate higher without stressing my fish, i already see increased breathing by them come the end of the photo period.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to what i may be doing wrong? I'm in such awe of people on here with beautiful flourishing planted tanks, while no matter how hard I try I can't seem to get results.
Here is a picture of my tank (the plants look fine in this but they have gone downhill since this picture, i just did a new scape) :
Thanks in advance