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>Quick question:  I used flourite when I set up my tank (125 gallons - I 
>used 50lbs).  The plants grew very well for about one year.  Now things 
>seem to be in slow growth mode allowing for algae.  I change the bulbs (VHO 
>360 total watts) every 10 months.  I have alot of fish (about 80 or so - 
>mostly tetras, corys, and few small cichlids).  I do water changes at least 
>70% weekly.   
>Does the flourite "wear" out?  Should I start using fertilizers (I didn't 
>before)?  Any thoughts?

Get some test kits to check your NO3 and perhaps Fe. Flourite does not "wear
out". You may need some extra NO3 or Fe or general trace fertilizer(such as
TMG, Kent, Sera etc). I bet you have little to nothing in your water column
as far as NO3 etc. Now you add something to the column like the liquids, but
perhaps some tabs or sticks to the substrate might be in order for your
methods and approach. Some general tabs like SeaChem's or maybe some jobes
under the heavy feeders should certainly help. Big water changes will
prevent any build up of nutrients also. You will likely see dramatic
improvements BTW.

Changing VHO bulbs every 10 months? Ouch! That's gotta hurt the wallet. I'd
try to stretch them longer myself.
Tom Barr