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[APD] RE: 265 gal

> For a couple of weeks I think I was overdosing the PMDD (50mls per day),
> because my Nitrate, Phosphate and Iron readings were not really going
> up. I've since figured out that the Nitrate test kit I was using (Red
> Sea) seems to be garbage. And the Iron levels weren't testing out right
> because I wasn't waiting long enough for the chelated iron to register.

Try looking at your CO2 first. Then look at other things. I use KNO3 and
KH2PO4 separately. PMDD does not use any PO4, which the plants will need a
fair amount of.
If you are missing these two, you can add all the NO3, iron you want but it
will not help the plants grow more. 
Alage have far less PO4/CO2 requirements and occupy and different niche,
they will still grow.

> My plant growth is very inconsistent.

Like I said........

 Some things, like Java ferns,
> Nymphea lotus, the Ech. tenellus are doing really well (except now they
> are covered in BGA), while others, like the Rotala macrandra,
> Vallisneria, and the larger swords do not seem to be growing much at
> all. Over the last few days I've noticed both kinds of Rotala, my Hygro
> polysperma and even some Anubias have new growth that looks great. Most
> of the old growth on these plants looks bad: algae covered, brown, and
> just not healthy. Perhaps the lower PMDD level is helping them now. I
> thought things were getting better, but the green water is just as bad
> as ever. 

GW also?

> What's much worse is that I can't seem to shake the BGA problem. I added
> about 6 oz H2O2 per day in my 265 for four or five days in a row, which
> didn't make it go away, but did keep it from spreading. Then I stopped
> two days ago, and left the lights off yesterday while I was out of town.
> Today the stuff has spread all over the place. I have it on plants
> throughout the tank, even plants that seemed to be healthy a couple days
> ago. 

If you want to get rid of the BGA do this:
Clean your filter. Do a 50% water change. Clean off all the BGA you can
find. Add 3 teaspoons/1 table spoon of KNO3 dry to your tank.

Turn off CO2/lights for 3 days, cover tank with towel, trash bags etc so
that no light gets in at all anywhere.
Remove the cover and reconnect CO2/lights. BGa will be all gone. 
Do another 50% water change, add KNO3 back 1tablespoon 2-3x a week from now

Make certain the CO2 is 20-30ppm ALL day long long, not just in the AM.
Add some PO4 and dose traces separate from macro's. 

Eg Day one:
Add 1 table spoon of KNO3, add 1/4 teaspoon of KH2PO4.
Day two, add 60mls of TMG, Plantex etc.

Day 4 add more KNO3/KH2PO4
Day 5 traces

Day 7 change water and add nutrients back.

Plant growth will dramatically improve as long as you keep the CO2 up. 

> I am currently running a Diatom XL filter almost 24/7, with changes of
> the media every two to three days. When I turn that off the green water
> gets worse right away. I have also done three 30% water changes in the
> last 10 days. I have diligently been vacuuming up the mulm/crap at the
> bottom of the tank using my Diatom and a gravel vacuum.

Do larger water changes, it's fine to run the Diatom, run it for the next
few days(week or two). This will clean up any crud.

> The water conditions seem fine: Phosphate .1mg/l, 

Way too low.

Iron .2, Ammonia,
> Nitrite  and Nitrate all at the lowest reading on the test kits. My KH
> is 3.5, and the GH 7.5. I keep the pH at 6.8 with CO2, so based on my
> Tetra test kit chart (I know, I know... it's almost worthless), my CO2
> is around 20mg/l. As I mentioned before, lights are 3x 250watt 5500k
> HQI. 

Naw, your CO2 is too low. Lower the pH to 6.5-6.6. This will help the most.

> My fish level seems reasonable, with about 75 neons, 20 otos, 4 clown
> loaches, 4 apistos, 8-10 corys. 

Pretty light actually

> My wet/dry filter has about 30 liters of biomedia (Hydroton -- clay
> hydroponic pellets). I can add about 20 more liters of that to my
> filter. Temp is still 82-84. I have cut back the lights to about 9 hours
> plus 1-2 hours of afternoon sun that filters in. 

Well turning the lights out to kill BGA is not going to work with the
sunlight coming in.
Try for 82F for now.
Lighting for 10 hours, run small fans to keep it cool. 

> I'm starting to run out of ideas! I've even entertained the idea of
> switching to African cichlids or something.  
> Thanks,
> Kurt

Try the suggested ideas, they will work and they will get rid of the algae
faster than anything else and will not cost anything except for the PO4
which is only a few $.

Tom Barr 

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