I have made the transition from years of plastic plants in my freshwater tank to a fully planted tank. I have also stopped using carbon, Phoszorb and Nitrazorb filters, going instead with just foam sponges and Biomax. I have a Fluval canister filter system with an inline heater (I keep the temp 72-74 F). I have no more algae problems. My plants seem to do OK and grow slowly. I trim the brown leaves and stems that develop. Java moss is doing well. I have 4 clown loaches, 5 cardinal tetras, 4 red eye tetras and 3 yellow fin tetras and 3 other tetras that look copper on their fins. All fish do well.
My tank is 40 gallons. I do 50% water changes every week. I add Fluorish every 3 days.
As section of my tank has a floating plant to provide some partial shade (the tetras love hiding out in it).
My tank runs consistent parameters when I test the day I do a water change:
pH 6.0 - 6.2
I vacuum the gravel once a month.
I have read that plants like a pH higher than my tank's pH. Is this true?
Also, I don't measure the CO2 in my tank. Should I be doing so? If so, then is it best to do so during the day or at night? I have the tank's light running ~10 hours on average each day.