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Progress report after two years

Our four foot tank, which was once so new, is now two years old, and I'm
happy to report that we're finally algae free.  It's been a long, and
occasionally frustrating struggle, especially with the dreaded BBA.  The
only thing we found that worked was consistent dosing, consistent lighting,
consistent CO2, and manually removing the BBA that was growing on our
driftwood, our Anubias (anchored to driftwood) and the gravel, as well as
regularly pruning tatty leaves from our amazon swords.

One thing that helped immensely was adding more potassium to the tank.  I
originally only used KNO3, but six months ago added K2SO4 as well to our
daily regimen.

FWIW, our tank parameters are:

Tank:  4' x 2' high x 19" deep (90g)
Filtration:  Eheim 2028 canister filled with sintered rock.
Lighting:  190W, mix of CF and T-8.  Variety of globes around 5500K.
CO2:  Pressurised CO2, fed into canister inlet via Nupro 'S' metering valve.
Population:  Five discus, ten bristlenose cats, a dozen cardinals, seven
corydoras metae, four female kribensis.
Plants:  Variety of Amazon swords, lots of chain sword, a few crypts, and an
an Anubias Nana anchored to a piece of bogwood.
Fertilisation:  1ml daily of 2%KNO3 + 5%K2SO4 solution.  1ml daily of trace
(1tsp Manutec trace mix + 1tsp Manuted Fe chelate in 400ml water).  Addition
of three or four "Root tabs plus Iron" tablets to substrate under swords
every couple of months.
Water changes:  Once or twice a week - 25%, with tap water.
Our water is about 3 degrees KH, and 4-5 degrees GH.  We keep the pH at
about 6.7 with CO2.

We're extremely happy.  Our tank is finally just what we always hoped for.
Our fish are happy and healthy, and it looks really beautiful.  Once we
ditched the stem plants, it's not even a huge pruning headache.

FWIW, I've got a chronology for our tank at
http://www.suzyj.net/four_foot_chronology.html (with lots of pictures)



Suzy Jackson        suzyj at bigpond_com        http://www.suzyj.net