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Re:took 2 years, but i did it

Paul K asked... 
>Could you tell us more about what happened when

>you tried "different balances of plants and fish load".  What sorts of bad

>things happened when you had a lot of plants and a small amount of fish?

Once a thick jelly like slime covered all the roots of floating plants. The
entire root mass, not a snail blob. The gravel started to turn black in spots.
Overnight death of all the fish. Just one example.
I kept trying hygros for their fast growth. They grow fine (except for profuse
"air roots") but other plants wouldn't. 
I couldn't get a balance that helped all the plants so I switched to bottled
co2 thinking it would help. It had the reverse effect. The plants lost color.
Fertilizer created algae instantly. (Flourish.) That really stumped me.
I believed all along I had a water chem balance problem. High 8.3 pH due to WC
bumping it up to "keep the color out". (caustic soda) 
I added fertilizer and instant algae. Water change after change in a week
perked the whole tank up. Anubias nana lost yellow and greening. (there's that
water chem theory again) Added spray bar shooting down, stirring the
thermocline. Growth at last and algae gone. Gravel is warmer too. I had
noticed my gravel was actually chilly.
I was so distraught I didn't bother to learn (remember) many proper names,

Bruce in NJ