I have posted my water parameters numerous times so I won't repost them here. The conditions remain the same.
Since switching to a planted take in Janurary, the tank hasn't taken off as well as hoped. I upped the lights to a little over 2 wpg and algea has bloomed. I now have a hair algea slowing taking over the tank. At weekly water changes I scrape the algae from the side of the tank and try to get as much of the hair algae off the plants, but it's a loosing battle. I bought a couple siamese algae eaters over the weekend (boy are those guys expensive!) so I'll see if they help at all.
The tank is lightly planted for two reasons. The first is that I don't want too heavily of a planted tank, the second is that I haven't had the time to order plants online now that I think I know what I want in the tank. The large anubia that I bought has lost three large leaves. I a few weeks ago I added lactite?? a flourite substitute and some fertilizer spikes but the plant doesn't seem to be recovering. I also lost three carpet plants, though after reading about them, the plants aren't expected to live for more than a few months anyway. The two smaller anubias are sitting there. I can't remember if either has gotten a new leaf since being in the tank, but at least they aren't dieing. A success is the java moss. It took a while to realize that it was growing, but the two plants are doing fairly well. I was surprised that the loose strands of moss actually attached themselves to gravel. I had to use my hand to "clean up" the bottom of the tank, because the strands attached had attached themselves to gravel. I also have another plant, Bacopa Monneri, which seem to have grown but rather slowly.
When I changed water yesterday, I noticed something growing on a piece of floating drift wood. Looked a lot like small Bacopa Monneri plants, with only three leaves. I consider it a success.
I've also been losing fish again. I added three hatchet fish to the tank after quaranteeing them. Two of them have died in the last couple days though I'm suspecting ich since all the neons have come down with it. Ich is another issue that I haven't been able to resolve. I hadn't seen ich in the last 8 years until I switched to the planted tank. I am currently using a malachite green? medication and am wondering if I shouldn't switch to something else. I found one web site that suggested a series of treatments is a better plan for ich due to it's life span. I tried the series of treatments but after a few weeks I'm back to having ich. Every site I've read said fish should be able to cast off ich unless there's a form of stress going on. The serpae tetra that has been nipping at all the fish is still in the tank. It's not worth the effort to take him to the lfs and I don't like the idea of flushing him just because he is displaying a natural characteristic. I saw him go after a pleco the other day!
So alas, I'm getting frustrated with the tank. I don't want to go out and drop a lot of money on plants if they are going to die, but sounds like I need more plants to get things in better balance. Anyone have ideas on where to go from this point?