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re:algae challange


 Being new to the hoby - 1 year - and trying a lot of things in order to
put together a high rate grow, algae free tank I could point you some
things that I consider being of a uterly importance for a beginer- a
lot of experienced people consider them probably as naturaly, well they
are not:
 - you need to know as well as you could your water parameters. In a high
light, CO2 enriched tank - high gear sort of speaking - things could go
wrong easily. You absolutely need to know what is the NO3 in your tap
water and how it evolve in your tank also. The test kit made by aquarium
pharmaceutical worked very well for me and is only 10 dollars also. You
could very well use more expensive test - Lamotte for example - if you
could afford. Probably is very useful to be able to monitor your phosphate
also - Read Sea make a good and inexpensive test; despite the prime
" ammendment" in Sear - Colin paper, you do not want to run into P
deficiency in a tank like yours.
 - from your posting I saw that you used buffers to change your KH - the
most easy and safe solution to do it is to use bicarbonate of soda and aim
for a 4-5 KH. Also your small GH - 2 - could give you problems - again
high gear tank - so try to use epson salt ( Mg ) and CaCl ( Ca ) to raise
your GH to around 6. You could find CaCl as some marine Ca made by Kent,
just go to the LSF and look into the reef section. From my experince 13
grains give you 1 degree GH in 5 gallon of water. Epson salt is giving 1.7
GH for a 1/4 tbs in the same amount of water.
- As for the macro and micro ingredients - NO3 could be easily add in form
of KNO3 - stump remover from All Green, the micro ingredients are more
safely add in form of a comercialy product - Seachem is available in most
places and afordable, try to buy the new one which has Boron also.
I think is the best aproach to be able to dose the macro and micro
nutrients separatly instead of using some "classic all around
system" because the tap water is varing wildly from place to place. 
- another thing that you need to consider when first working with plants
is you need to try to grow some specific plant for a while before being
able to decide if its working or not in your particular set - up. And for
the algae I think is not better cure or aproach than very good plant

 Best luck,