Thanks for setting me straight, Rex and Solstice.
So, I need to:
1. Re-read the guide, re-read the guide again, and for fun, read it again (just like I tell my students to do…).
2. Buy a good test kit today, get real numbers.
3. Bulk up to fast growing plants to work on a ‘real’ planted tank to use the nutrients in the water instead of leaving them for algae.
4. Learn to use fertilizers correctly.
As soon as I get numbers for my parameters with that new test kit, I’ll be asking for favorite fast growers and places to buy plants (online?). My local pet super stores like to sell terrestrial plants for aquarium use…