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Thanks Tom for you reponse.

Further comments that might help

I have major infestation of BGA and whatever I do I can't shift it - I have
> not tried Erythromycin yet but have it on hand I want to get the tank right
> first.
> The tank is 160litres (42gallUS) with 110W of fluorescent lighting (Dennerle)
> and Dennerle substrate and heating coils.  Pressure Co2 setup
> Temp 79, pH 6.6, KH 5, GH6 all measured with good (for the UK) kits

That's in a good range.


> I change 33% of the water weekly and at the same time add 8g K2SO4.  This
> gives me a starting point of 30ppm of K which I think is in limits

8 grams in a 42 gallon tank? That's a lot. Try adding 1/2 that.  It won't
hurt but I doubt you need it. You also get it from other sources(KNO3).

Will do
> I dose with 35ml of AP LeafZone weekly spread over the week and I dose 4 g of
> KN03 over the week to maintain a presence of 5-10 ppm NO3 on average
> (measured).  Have used TMG but its difficult to get here but no difference to
> the problems.

I'm wondering about the lighting. Have you tried to black out the tanks for
3-4 days(completely)? Do a water change before and after. Clean as much of
it off as you can. 

Not tried black out yet - to be honest I am not sure the pplants woudl survive it.
> And I have Algae!  BGA the worst offender, there is also green powdery stuff
> on the glass and Green spot on the strictas.  The reason I haven't tipped in
> the Erythro yet is that I am sure there is some kind of deficiency going on
> and I can't work it out.  BGA I think would come back becuase the plants have
> never grown well.

Never with good NO3, K,CO2, Traces, lighting? Something is not right.

You're right - damned if I can work it out though :>)
> This tank has never been right.  I struggled to grow H. Polysperma, Egeria or
> Cabomba - they fell apart - I gave up.
> Growth of the stuff that does survive is slow and 'not right'. PLants in this
> category are E.Tenellus (no runners), Eleocharis (slow), H. Difformis (really
> slow growth, small leaves), Alternatheria (Slow), H. Zosterifolia (Slow,
> little branching), H. Stricta (New leaves curled, little/no branching).
> Bacopa Carolina does OK.  Ludwigia Palustris is OK but alhtough red, the
> leaves really curl back near the surface.   The stand of E. Parv 'Tropica'
> throws up distorted leaves - quite twisted (put CaCo3 tabs in substrate - no
> effect).  Other symptoms the strictas lower leaves get little brown and yellow
> spots then go clear from the tip before dying back.

Well it goes down from the lighting(how much lighting do you have and how
long do you light the tank), then the CO2(is the pH 6.6 all day?),

No 6.6 is before ligths on  - PH is 6.9 at lights out.  Lights on 11 hours per day on timer.

 then the
NO3(is this readding just once a week or do you add KNO3 every 2-3 days?,

Yes NO3 added avery other day

Readings taken several times over the week - usually morning after NO3 added.

K2SO4 is fine, PO4? Have you tested for it? Traces sound fine.
Try bigger water changes(80-90liters worth). Build back up the nutrients.

Not tested Phosphates - mixed views on APB about the hagen kit which is the probably best you can get over here.
> The symptoms the tank is exhibiting are some sort of nutrient deficiency(ies)
> but the substrate is only a year old - shouldn't be depleted yet.

If you pull up and replant things I think that's not going to be an issue. I
have yet to come across one tank that I could definitely say that was the
problem or not. Are the coils coming on and off?

Coils on all the time

> Strictas would indicate K or NO3 deficiency but that is in good range.  I
> can't measure K but I can't believe the amount I am using would be depleted in
> a week.

That's not it. Filtration? Do you have one?

Yes Fluval 203 cleaned evry 2-3 months, also small empty Eheim 2211 for additional circulation the 203 going into the CO2 difuser wasn't enough.  Neither disturb the surface.
Clean it out good, get some circulation in the tank. What's the PO4? It's
possible it could be PO4 limited if the N and K and traces are all up and
the CO2/light also. 

Could be PO4 ...but I had these symptoms while at lower light levels (when tank first set up for a couple of months) when PO4 might not be such an issue. 

What about fish load?

14 cardinals 12 Penguins, 4 corys 2 otos, 1 elderly SAE (like golddust here) all fed lightly.

Tom Barr 

Any further thoughts?

many thanks


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