but should I be concerned or give it more time?
Is this due to it being dried out for three days? Or do you think it's another clue as to what nutrient my tank is lacking?
Another thought I had was what if I added both Seachem and NilocG ThriveS? When I compared the labels of the two, has more , boron, , , molybdenum, and sodium than the NilocG ThriveS. My struggle is I don't have a good guage of how important any/all of those micro are.
I'd say it's an issue of time. I think it's important to realise that plants can bounce back from the edge of death, but if too much cellular damage has occurred over a prolonged period of external stressors (such as nutrient deficiency, lack of light, etc.), plants can fail in new growth.
I don't think it's a nutrient deficiency (which tends to show over a prolonged period of time). It seems more, as you rightly guessed, due to drying out: it might bounce back, it might not. It's difficult to tell.
Java moss (and many other aquatic plants) do melt. In botanic terminology, it's autophagic ("self-eating") Programmed Cell Death: essentially, older cells which are adapted to a previous ecosystem "actively" die in order that cellular components can be recycled, and the resultant nutrients can be directed to new cells that can synthesise enzymes that are better adapted to the current water parameters.
Flourish is a concentrated micro fert, so it will have a higher concentration of the elements that you've mentioned (which are all micro ferts). However, they're only required in small amounts with the exception of calcium, but generally that's present in sufficient amounts in tap water.
In any case, Thrive will provide more than sufficient micro ferts: the concentration on the bottle appears lower because much of the fert volume is in the form of macronutrients which are required in far greater amounts.
In short: it's unlikely that ferts are the issue.
Given that we remedied nutrients and water lettuce can extract CO2 from the atmosphere (latent CO2 in water is very low, typically 3-5 ppm and aquatic plants tend to grow rather slowly in the absence of CO2 injection), it might be worth investigating the lighting.
Lighting can be a tricky thing, and I'm not in the best position to guage what's available in the US market (as I'm in Australia). However, generally I read that Fluval's lighting products () are quite popular in the planted tank community. They're not the cheapest, but they're the most likely to work right out of the box for aquatic plants with no need for adjustments.
If you find that it's out of your budget, it'll be worth doing a search either on this forum or on planted tank for what lighting set-ups people are using for their nano planted tanks. It might reveal cheaper options (such as using a fluorescent lamp of some sort).
A small part of me cringes at having to delay the rimless for longer, but I'd rather work out the kinks in plant care skills in this "ugly" tank than a rimless that I just blew a bunch of money on lol.
As a final question, how significant is lighting time?
That's a fair point. I was thinking if I invested in a nice light now, I could just transfer it to the rimless once I get it. But DIY also sounds fun.If the 5-gallon is your ugly tank (we all have one for experiments and learning!), I definitely wouldn't splurge on a Fluval. I would recommend having a look around at planted tank for DIY solutions, i.e. a generic lighting fixture that can be bought a non-aquarium specific shop (or off Amazon or eBay). The goal here needn't be to supply a largesse of light, but just a bit more in the right wavelength. Definitely save your money and keep most of it for the rimless.
Cool beans, I'll look into one of these, too.Lighting time (generally called the photoperiod) is typically maintained at 8-10 hours. This is generally to optimise plant growth while minimising undesirable side effects (e.g. algae). I would definitely invest in a timer as it's a nice, simple way of automation.