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phosphates and pH

Hi all.  I'm new to the list and I need help.  I have reviewed the archives
and found some posts that approach my question, but none that satisfy it

I would appreciate any advise, especially from you chemists out there.

My situation:  40gal planted tank (S. American plant species) set up since
Feb. 5th, DIY trickle filter, laterite+flourite substrate, DIY CO2, PC
fluorescents (48" 2x65W Custom Sealife BriteLite) 150w WeissLite, using
PMDD.  Temporarily, I have 8 black mollies (wondering why - read on).  My
tap water is HARD.

My issue: Persistent green hair or beard algae.  Not much on the glass, but
growing as hair on the tops of the plants.  I have been attempting to lower
the phosphates with Boyd's Chemimat and now Seachem PhosGuard, but not much
luck yet.  Also, my pH has risen to 8.2!  Now why so high?  Is it because my
particularly high evaporation rate is forcing me to top-off with tap water,
concentrating the hardness?  Or does this have something to do with my
attempts at removing the phosphate?   I remember from my youth seeing a pH
lowering compound made from sodium biphosphate, and I think Discus Buffer is
phosphate based, so does removing phosphate drive pH up?  Is Seachem's
Neutral Regulator phosphate based?   Also, I have a friend with no algae
problem who swears by Poly Bio Marine's Poly Filter, but while I believe
Poly Filter may help with my phosphate problem, I'm afraid that it will
remove my PMDD.  The package says remove before adding trace elements.  Any
experience there?  Ammonia is at zero, and although I don't know the nitrate
level, the tank is relatively new and I feed VERY sparingly (hungry mollies
eat more algae).  Should I cave in and splurge for an RO unit? (especially
since I want S. Americans).  Will this help my algae problem, even

Thanks for sharing your experience, people.  As I gain more practical
experience, I hope to give back where I can.

Lew Newcomb