My wife & I decided to move from a 10g to a 55g setup and also decided to give a planted tank a try.
30-60 aqua-tech HOB filter
48" Nova Extreme 2xT5HO - Freshwater Light
Green Mondo Grass
Anubius (2 different types)
Ludwigia needle leaf
Guppies, Platty's, Molly's, Cory's, swordtails, tetra's, dwarf gourami, Pleco, ghost shrimp, small spiral shelled snails.
Total fish is probably around 30
We bought a bunch of flourish products: iron, potassium, phosphorus & have been using them as directed. We also got a bunch of other conditioners, such as zyme start etc that we use as directed.
We got a Hardness test kit and master test kit. We have been mixing distilled water and tap water 50/50 to get the KH between 50-100, but the GH has steadily been going up starting around 170 and its now at about 240. We do small water changes at least once a week.
The ammonia kept going up so we started using ammo lock every other day because we lost 2 dwarf gourami. The tank has been newly setup for about 3 weeks now and nitrite and nitrate still read 0. She does a water test every other day.
Ammonia is currently at 4.0
We had the light on a timer keeping it on for 12 hours and we also had a 18" bubbler on all day. The plants started looking really bad and I found out the bubbler was a bad idea and the light was on too long. I adjusted those things about a week ago and I reduced the light time to 9 hours and only turn the bubbler on at night after the lights go off then it turns off before the lights come back on the next day.
I took the carbon out of the filters a week ago and yesterday I added a mesh bag of purigen in the HOB filter.
I also got some co2 booster liquid and started using that yesterday.
I also added a Hagen Nutrafin co2 system on tuesday with a glass/ceramic diffuser. I don't know how much of an impact it will have though.
I'm looking for input and advice on everything in general: light time, co2, water cycle, etc.