I have been lurking around for advice for a while now. I finally have my tank set up and planted and cycling.
-54 gallon corner bowfront - 23 inches deep
-Rena Filstar XP3 filter
-Finnex Ray 2 30" light strip across the midpoint of the tank with a clip on shop light in the back corner with one of these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003QZF7JA/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 which I know needs to be upgraded, but I already had them laying around
-Floramax substrate with black diamond sand cap with DIY osmocote+ root tabs
-The lights are on about 9 hours a day, but I just bought a timer so I can adjust this
-Dosing PPS-Pro ferts 5ccs of macro & micro daily plus excel
-water is medium hardness, pH 7.4-7.6
-No fish yet, but I plan on doing cories, honey gourami, and a couple of large schools of something like rasboraas
-plants: amazon sword, ruffled sword, anubias, java fern, several crypts, ludwigia, water sprite, anacharis, water wisteria, joshua plant, aponogeton crispus...and something else I think I'm forgetting.
Everything is growing - some of it very well and very profusely. The But the swords are developing some brown spots. My research seems to indicate an iron deficiency (not enough in the root tabs/ferts?), so I just put some Flourish Iron in my amazon cart. I do know the swords were grown in water and not emmersed. The aponogeton crispus also appears to be melting, and I'm considering just removing it and planting something else in its spot. Everything else is good, and some of the taller growing plants are even growing in some reddish color. I will try to get some pictures of the swords - some if the brown is diatoms/brown algae (I'm not clear on how you tell which it is), but some of it is definitely the leaves actually going brown.
I also have some whitish hairish looking algae growing on the large driftwood, which I understand is normal? There is a little bit of brown algae patches also on the sword and anubias leaves.
So my questions are - is my lighting adequate? I tried to do my research when I bought the light, and it seemed to be a good fit for a deep tank. And the ludwigia (which may be the highest lights-need plant I have?) is growing like mad. I also have some plant ledges/shelves, and I'm thinking of building up a little hill in the back corner to plant the large sword that's back there - it's currently in a large pot (with substrate and root tabs) because I knew I would want to move it around at some point. Am I on the right track with ferts, dosing, etc?
I have been looking into a CO2 system, but I'm not there yet.
Pictures - one week ago:
This morning - you can see a lot of growth! Ignore that stupid rogue anubias in the front. It keeps coming free from the driftwood and landing in that spot. The ludwigia is actually starting to grow out of the tank, so I'm going to relocate it to have more growing room and then take some cuttings once it reaches the surface again.