I've been trying out EI fertilizing a Non-Co2 setup housing mostly slow growers in inert sand. I did read thru the NonCO2 thread here and thats what got me to give it a try. I added nothing to the substrate at all. No tabs, no mud, soil, mulm, nothing... If my crypts start showing signs they need it I'll pop something in there at the roots for them later but for now all ferts are from the water column.
I'm using 1x 54watt T5HO sitting directly on top of the tank. Its a semi-DIY fixture. Basically I gutted an Aqueon T-8 fixture and popped in a T-5 6500k bulb and used a remote electronic ballast. I didn't swap the reflector out so its still using the original. No idea what kinda PAR I'm getting. I'm assuming if I had a good t-5 reflector it would put me in around medium lighting. I do think the wide angle of the reflector helps with getting a pretty good spread since it is a fairly narrow tank.
I'm only dosing once a week with 1/4 tsp KNO3, 1/8th tsp PO4 and 1/8 tsp micros the following day. I do water changes every 2 weeks. I haven't done any testing and I see no noticable algae. Maybe I'm wrong but I feel I'm already dosing on the high side. The tank houses 15 Amano shrimp currently and the plants seem to be growing quiet well. Its not a very heavy plant load - a large java fern, Xmas moss, about 5 crypts, 2 anubias coffeefolia, 2 types of Hydrocotyle, and some cyperus helferi. The java fern isn't in the best shape but it never really was when I got it from an online source. The tank seems to be stable so is there any reason I should up the ferts or just leave it be?