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I am reading David Corner's post of April 6 about nine days late because of
a two week trip I took first to the redwoods and secondly to Death Valley,
so I am sure that others have addressed this.

The stemminess in your tank surely comes from too little light.   We
terrestrial gardners experience the same thing, which we describe as a
"leggy" plant, when seedlings are either given too little light, or the
light source  is too far away.  The ludwigia leaves in your tank are
getting bigger (and probably with less separation on the stem from leaf to
leaf) as they approach the surface because they are receiving more light.

As for the high pH:  you could help that situation by losing the airstone.
There is no point in injecting CO2 into the tank and then causing its
release by using an airstone.

Macon Cowles
1680 Wilson Court
Boulder, CO 80304
(303) 447-1332