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Java fern/CO2 observations

I've been running my tank for the past month or so without CO2 injection (out of laziness, I guess).

Before the CO2 ran out, my java ferns had algae problems (the very short, dark green, mold-like kind) and in general didn't look too good.

After the CO2 ran out, they now look green and vibrant.

The only food they get is from fish food/waste products, and the lighting is unchanged (2x 55 W compact A&H flourescents on a 55 gallon aquarium).

Any explanations why this could be?

-- Stephen