Just wanted to post a little update from my last. I replaced the fluorite with sand a few months ago and I'm loving it! Added some more bucephelandra, anubias, and anacharis/egeria along with three nerite snails. Most of the plants are doing spectacularly well, including the crypts that I had almost given up on. The java fern has suffered quite a bit and has died back to almost nothing, although I haven't given up hope on it yet. I've been fertilizing the tank using the seachem dosing chart on a somewhat haphazard basis (ie, when I remember). I'm sure there is still room for improvement, but I think the tank looks loads better from its last iteration.
Lighting: Fluval 3.0
Substrate: Pool filter sand + safe-t-sorb
Ferts: Osmocote Plus, with occasional dosing for trace using NiloCG Aquatics Selects Salts
What I've learned:
I bought the equipment to run a custom co2 setup, but realized that the tank was doing well without it, so I haven't added it yet. I do deal with hair algae in the phoenix moss on one of the branches right under the light that I have to remove manually about twice a month. The Fissidens is about the only plant that doesn't do well in my tank, and would probably do better with co2. However, most of my plants seem to grow really tall, which I imagine is due to the lack of co2, and the lower light intensity I run to keep algae low. All-in-all, I'm quite pleased, as it's a pretty low maintenance tank, though I am experimenting with making it a blackwater tank now. I'll post the results here in a few months.
17 gallons with gravel as substrate and some sand in the foreground.
Anubias nana petite
Ludwigia super red
Some type of anubias I have not identified
Red root floater
A lot of duckweed (I propagate it to feed my koi)