Consistent CO2 has been my biggest issue over time. At times I get nice growth in my 48 gallon tank (no problems in smaller tanks <20 gallons). Periods of nice healthy growth...then suddenly I begin to see stunting or melting in more sensitive plants. My staurogyne repens grows, melts, then grows again. I haven't been able to get it thick and bushy in this tank at all. My 7.5 gallon tank it has grown beautifully.
I have noticed people using the ATI's successfully have them raised quite a bit above the tank. I really don't know if I can fit more CO2 into the water, so I have raised the light as far as I can with the limited length of the cord, roughly 35-40cm above. It runs at 25%-30% power. Algae isn't really an issue, but growth seems to be. This has been my ongoing frustration for much of my time in this hobby. I am the common denominator here, my equipment this round is all top-notch.
I see pearling, meaning O2 saturation correct? CO2 high, yellow dropchecker with 4 dkh and shrimp nearing tolerance levels. My fish get sluggish and not as active with more addition too. I really have been stumped. Lower light intensity and I don't know if I could grow a carpet, like I said the damn glosso won't lay down. A PAR meter would help me a bunch...if I had one. Then I could for sure rule out light ie too little or too much and then focus on what is the problem with CO2.
I've considered dense growth and lots of plants limiting flow and creating regions of poor CO2, moving the drop checker around wouldn't confirm it. I've thought as plant mass increased some plants get "choked out" of CO2 explaining the period of good growth and poor growth. A rescape with maintaining room for better flow is an option. The staurogyne melt doesn't support this as it is in one of the best flow positions ie the CO2 output from inline atomizer collides with lower flow from MP10 pushing it down onto the S. repens.
Anyways, needless to say I'm frustrated. I sometimes feel like it hit its stride and its going to go great and it does for a bit, then it doesn't and I'm back to trouble shooting. ugh!