I've tried many times to offer help and advice by posting links to a species only site, but it apparently falls on deaf ears a lot. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make em drink it, if ya know what I mean.
In my first experience of 2-3 years tryin to do it my way, i failed miserably. I finally succumbed to the guidings and teachings of others that were more fluent and have spent the last 7-8 years improving and perfecting the skills I've learned. I follow a strict standard of husbandry to include WC
's, feeding, and (what I see as most important) QT.
I stick my hands in the tank and they allow me to pet them, when I move them from QT, I scoop them up in one hand and they lay flat. They watch tv with my girl and I and thoroughly enjoy our presence (including watching my 2, 100 pound Shepherds) when in the same room. 3/5 are now 6.5"+ and the 2 that are not are the most recent additions which are both over 5" and original purchase size was 3.5" in late July-early August.
I'm not trying to be rude, so don't take it as that. I'm just spitting out facts from ten years of experience. Don't compensate water changes for having plants. It means absolutely zero to their health. Find a thread from severum mama and see what hers look like. She did them before, is doing them again, and has made changes from then to now. Her work with them is the way it should be and the proof is in her photos.
Sent from my iPhone that doesn't like me. Or you.