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I just wanted to touch on something I noticed no one else brought up yet regarding your plants being "leggy". If you are talking about your stem plants, they will grow leggy even with extreme light co2 and fert dosing. What creates the beautiful bushes you see in others tanks is because of the way they trim their plants. Understanding proper trimming technique with stem plants in a high tech setup makes all the difference. First you need to focus on getting good growth, which of course will have to do with what others suggested for balancing ferts lights and co2.

To get stem most stem plants to grow bushy, you need to constantly be trimming them once they get long enough. I usually let mine get close to the surface, then cut them in half. Snip the very top of the cutting off and then replant it. Continuously do this and they will be bushy in no time. This is also necessary to do in low tech, the only difference is you won't have to do it as often and it will take longer to regrow and fill out. Every cut you make along the stem will yield two shoots at the top. After it grows out cut the tops of the two shoots to yield 4. And so on. That's how you grow multiple shoots from one single stem.

I'm usually doing this once a week in my high tech dutch, which is a shallow tank and running about 150 PAR at the substrate. I'm not dosing EI either. Dosing slightly more than suggested on the bottle of APT complete which in my opinion is a pretty lean fertilizer.

Btw I don't suggest shutting off the co2. That will not solve your algae problem. Actually it could make it worse. When people have algae problems they panick and try to reset or majorly adjust growth factors which can actually shock your plants and just make the situation worse. We all battle algae at one point or another, and a lot of times it makes you want to tear everything out and start over. But don't give up, a lot of tanks I admire wouldn't exist if people didn't power through the algae stages. I suggest some amanos too btw. They do absolute wonders to keep algae in check while the tank matures and you work on balancing everything. (I'm going through a terrible diatom outbreak in my new high tech....was losing my mind until I added amanos) if you add some amanos I would scale back your feeding of your fish to avoid having excess food for the shrimp. The less actual food they have the better because it will entice them to eat the algae instead. Truthfully I only feed my fish 3-4 times a week.

Edit: btw I reread your original post and noted you saying your plants are dull. I have two Lominie Asta 20s on my other high tech which only has easy growing green plants.. they do a fine job with extra potassium dosing to keep the plants extra green, try upping your potassium dosage for one. Secondly while the Asta lights are full spectrum, they technically only have white coloring. You may have better luck with a RGB light or a WRGB. Something with red blue and green diodes will probably help make your plants more vivid. I think the Astas are better for low tech or at the very least easy plants like hydrocotyle, Christmas Moss, and monte carlo. Anything more demanding might not grow as healthy. Light intensity is only part of the equation. You could have the most powerful light but if it's lacking proper color spectrum, you can throw any ideas of luscious plant coloring out the window, even greens. Without a wide color spectrum a lot of high tech plants will either suffer or not grow as well.
 

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I agree with the canister and lily pipes. Having a lily outflow allows you to get a nice surface ripple that extends across most of the water surface. A lot of plants in my experience seem to grow better with decent flow as opposed to none and/or dead spots in the tank. You will be surprised how much you may have to up the co2 once you achieve proper flow. It's true that you will unintentionally gas off some co2 but as long as you have a reputable source to get refills from its not going to break the bank or anything. On my 5 gallon shallow I'm running like 2bps because of the amount of surface agitation. It's true that plants appreciate a high co2 saturation, but add good o2 saturation in conjunction with co2 will make for some very happy plants indeed.

Another benefit of a canister is allowing more space for proper bio media that you can't normally fit in an HOB. You could toss some purigen in your new canister which shouldn't be a cheat code or anything, but will help absorb any excess organic waste from feedings, dying algae, or rotting plant matter which if left in the water column otherwise would exasperate your algae problem.

UNS has a canister line and the delta 30 or 60 would be a good size for your tank. Finnex compact canister is a good cheaper alternative and can be fitted to hang on the back of the tank like an HOB. I think the UNS delta 30 can also be fitted this way.
 
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