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[APD] RE: Sherry's tanks

  The reasons for
> my current interest in your recommended regimen for high CO2 tanks is that
> for the past 4 months or so I've been having some terrible algae problems
> and I thought going to a high CO2 system and adding fertilizer might help
> the situation. 

Well sometimes, but this is rocking the boat in your case since you seem
well suited to this routine normally.
Re setting a non CO2 tank is different.

 I try to do water changes every 2-3 weeks using RO/DI water
> reconstituted with Aquarium Pharm's Electro-Right and PH Adjuster.

I'd just use tap, especially on a non CO2 method.

> I started adding CO2 via the DIY method to my 30 gallon and my 20 gallon
> which have been experiencing the worst of the algae problems.  
> The tank that is causing me the most concern is my 20 gallon long South
> American Puffer tank.  This tank has 2 puffers, a few ottos, and maybe a
> shrimp or two and they only get fed once a day (frozen food or dried

Try some other food, your food is the only waste/fertilizer input in non
CO2 dosing.
Some folks will add some ferts like K or traces etc but I don't with
Flourite/Onyx sand.
I don't need to, plants growth, health is good.

> This tank has soft water (I believe last time I tested it was about 2.5 or
> 3.5), but yet a high Ph - were talking around 8 - at times it has even
> higher than my saltwater reef. 

That's normal, nothing to worry about, test the pH right before the lightrs
come on and right before they go out.

 Since adding the DIY yeast it has come down
> to 7.  I can't figure out what could be causing this high Ph since the
> only contains Flourite, regular aquarium gravel, and two pieces of
> driftwood.  The tank has 4 watts of regular fluorescent light per gallon.

Well, there's the issue. The pH goes up because the water is losing CO2(a
weak acid) due to plant uptake.
For non CO2 methods, 2w/gal is a max light level.
You have way too much light for not using CO2. Either plan on using CO2
with this light level or lower the light level to 2w/gal or less.

> The Hemianthus micranthemoides has grown like a weed and has formed a
> beautiful carpet.  The other plants are struggling. 

This is common in planted non CO2 tanks, this plant does very well and
forms a tight low carpet, in CO2 tanks it'll grow upward much more. 
The other two leaf per node pearlgrass also does well under non CO2

 What is also
> flourishing is a type of thread algae - very fine strands of long light
> green algae which can easily be removed by pulling clumps out with my
> I've been doing weekly water changes on this tank to help remove the algae
> as the puffers get caught in it.  So, I was hoping that adding CO2 and
> fertilizers might help the situation.

Not too much generally, it speeds things up and helps the plants grow
Flagfish and barbs are useful, shrimp also. 

> Oh, one more question.  I know you are into saltwater macro algae and
> plants.  I was wondering if you've had any experience with brackish water
> plants or if their were any true brackish water plants. 

Well, estuary plants, many of which are emegernt plants.
Ruppia maritima is good, I'd just gom all the way and keep Saltwater
perswonally, thenm you have 100 species and VERY cool fish to pick from.
Puffers included, some of which are very interesting fish.

 I have a 20 gallon
> long aquarium which is kept at 1.010 salinity with 4 figure eight puffers.
> I put java moss in the tank because they seem to like to bite it, but
> about 2 weeks it begins to get brown and I remove it.  I just hate having
> tank without any plants in it.  Any suggestions?

Try some Ruppia. Few plants will make it and it's not enough for full SW
plants/macro algae.
Emergent plants, Mangroves etc are also nice looking options. 

Tom Barr

> Thanks! 
> Sincerely,
> Sherry
> p.s. sorry for the long post.     

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