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at startup i ran the MH for 9 hours/day

That is pretty much the source of your problem. And if you didn't seed the filter or use mulm from an established tank your pretty much screwed.

With so little plant mass you can not run a 150w mh light for 9 hrs at startup. If the tank is only a month old much of your problem stems from the conditons at startup. I don't care how much co2 your running or ferts your giving your plants they won't be able to compete against that much light. The most important thing at startup is controling the organics in the water column. Why? Because the plants aren't doing much and their isn't much of a biofilter yet that's why at startup (first few weeks) most use carbon (which I think you did), water changes, add plant mass and reduce light to control the growth of algae in highlight systems. 150mh over that tank is alot of light even if the tank was full of plants. After a few weeks and the plants are growing and the biofilter is maturing you can start to increase light, etc.
 
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