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Plant Tank.

I'm sure Thomas Barr(he's the expert and answers them all) will answer this
one but since I have been there and am just now working my way where things
are better,  I'll help you out.  

First,  as far as I know,  there is NO relation between phospate and PH,
Now,  maybe something you are using to change the phosphates is causing your
PH to change.   I would likely surmise though,  if you are not doing regular
50% water changes,  it is likely your evaporation theory driving your PH up.

You also need to get a KH reading and use it to determine how much CO2 is
actually being dissolved in the water.   I'll direct you to either the
archives of the list or to www.thekrib.com to lookup information to
determine your amount of CO2 that is being disolved in your water.    As you
add CO2 to your water,   it will Drop your PH.  The amount it drops it is
determined by your KH.   8.2 is way to high for a tank that is having CO2
added but without a KH reading I cannot say too much more.

Lets talk about your lighting a little bit.  Based on your message,  this is
a high light tank.    Consider that to be the throttle to your tank.  If you
pump up the intensity of the light,  you really drive up metabolism of your
tank.   If you do this and your tank is not in balance,  you will get algae
problems which is what you have now.   There are good reasons to have lots
of light.  You may have plants that require lots of light, you may want to
be able to grow any particular type of plant.  However,  I strongly
recommmend that if you are going to have lights that intense that you go
ahead and put in the extra money to purchase a CO2 tank setup.   If you
don't want to spend the money on the CO2 setup,  you should probably drop
your lighting back down to maybe 1/2 what it is now and then balance your
nutrient needs.  

You say Green Hair or Beard Algae,  these are two different things.   Beard
algae is nasty,  it gets stuck to your plants and will not come off.   In my
experience (and reading) there are two things that cause that.   Not enough
CO2 disolved in your water,  OR your nitrates are way way too high. (usually
easily solved with water changes).  Based on your PH reading I would suspect
though that your problem is likely that your CO2 is not getting disolved in
the water properly.  If it is and your KH is not extremely high,  your PH
will drop down.  Again for that look at the Charts on thekrib.com

(for hair algae)
In my experience with your high light levels in your tank, you probably need
to add some nitrate to your tank,  try to get your nitrate levels to between
5-10ppm.   This is the one single thing that finally got completely rid of
my hair algae.   Now,  that is 5-10ppm NITRATE.    If your test kit measures
Nitrogen-Nitrate then you need to multiply * 4.4 to get the NITRATE reading.
I had run my nitrates way too high before I realized I was testing at the
wrong levels, that caused BBA algae out the wazoo.     For hair Algae,
Amano shrimp are good,   I also found that tiger barbs are good but you have
to buy them in batches of 8 or nine so they will leave your other fish
alone.   I have 9 in my tank and I also have a couple of fancy guppies in
there.   They leave them alone no problem.   Rosy barbs are also good but I
have read that they will get into your more fragile plants after the algae
is gone.   Get a good Nitrate test.  Lamotte,  Hach,  I use the Seatest
(Aquarium Systems) test for salt water.   Others have too,  it is a
nitrogen-nitrate test that is not too expensive to begin with and has been
very reliable for me.   I got my re-fills at Thatpetplace.com they also have
the full test to.  

Once you get your nitrates set right,  your phosphates are likely to start
being used by the plants and they won't be near the problem.   Also,  I
would do one water change every week,  30-50%,  get yourself setup so this
is easy to do.   It will make your life lots easier.  Your phospates should
be between 0-1 ppm but I have found that as long as you have some in
there(i.e. not zero),  they do not cause near the problem that having low
nitrates do.

I once saw Thomas post something I found to be excellent advice.   To get
rid of algae,  once your tank is in balance,   Spend a couple of hours 3
weekends in a row.   Clean out every spec of algae you can find.   Once you
have done that,   do a 50% water change to get rid of the nutrients that you
disturbed while messing around in the tank.   Then run a diatom or UV filter
for 4-6 hours to kill any waterborn algae out of your water.    Once you
have done that for 3 weeks,  if your tank is in balance.   Your algae will
not come back.

If you are really serious about this,  the archives to this list will become
an invaluable tool.   Don't believe EVERYTHING you read in them,  you will
find conflicts.   I have spent hours and hours reading them,  sorting out
the wheat from the chaff (there is a LOT of wheat out there too).   And now
I believe that I am close to having a high light tank with not much algae
growth,  it has been a long trip and the advice from listmembers has been
great.   I actually didn't post that many questions mostly because others
were having the same problems I was so I just listened.

Without more chemical readings from your tank,  it is really hard to know
for sure what is going on.   If you really do have BOTH hair and Beard algae
at the same time.  I would suspect that you may have almost no CO2 in your
water and almost no nitrates in your water,  but since you don't have a
reading for KH or for NO3 then I really can't say for sure. 

Hope this helps.

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.