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Re: Nutrients

> thanks for your answer. The other info on the tank is that it has been up
> for 7 months and there is nothing stable to report about it.

Okay that explains a lot:)
Now about testing....
Keep doing this till you have a decent result. Water changes + additions of
traces and macros thereafter will re set things. Check to see your using up
the NO3/PO4.
> I've been
> through three major algae outbreaks so far: the dreaded GW, "brown cloud",
> and impressive green hair algae, 10" long at least. I also get green haze on
> the glass.

You need to do a big clean and hack... then a water change. Spend some time
scrubbing as much as you can off. Then use a gravel vac to suck up all the
detritus. Clean the filter a few days thereafter. Repeat for 2 more weeks.
Be careful changing the water. Guess you learned that one already. Black the
tanks out for a 3-4 days first then start doing the water changes &
cleanings. Keep up on things. Add more plants, be patient. Don't worry about
PO4 for now. You got bigger problems. It'll help but your tank doesn't seem
like it's balanced for the plants yet. If your test say what you reported in
the past, the results will not be instant. It takes some time and you still
need to get rid of the algae that's there already manually. Don't expect
overnight results. It will take a few days to weeks to get things looking
nice again. Don't make quick judgements if after 2 days it does not seem to
The reality of the planted tank is that when it does get algae, getting rid
of the algae is work. Nutrient control alone will not cure major problems.
You need to do the work, the scrubbing, the trimming/pruning, the water
changes, cleaning the filters. Many old timers don't worry when they see
algae blooms but rather go "oh great now I did not keep up on things and now
I have to work, crud!" But they know in a few days to weeks that the tank
can and will look nice if they do their water changes, nutrient dosing and
prunings. Sometimes all you need are more SAE's, snails or shrimps.
I've seen many tanks that seemed hopeless to the clients but I know that
it's an easy fix for me. They react with suspicion when I go, "Oh all you
have is green water!" Oh, your tank will look great in a few days, yes
crystal clear!" Or after adding 4-5 SAE's, a pack of shrimps etc etc.
I've been down the road many times. You are unsure though. I did not like
feeling that way either.
> I have Limnophila aquatica, Rotala indica, and several types of Hygro
> growing fast in the tank, but I've been wanting to try out water sprite for
> a while now...

Well all these do grow very fast. They should outpace the algae so you
should have algae free tops.

> What's the difference between 10ml of flourish every third day and 2 ml
> flourish daily?

Perhaps none. Perhaps the higher levels pulses help get more into the plant
rather than lower level residual amounts. Seems to me that the higher
temporary concentrations of traces are easier for plant uptake in than tiny
amounts. I cannot consistently add traces everyday anyway:) Your issue is
more a macro and CO2 issue. You do not get waves of algae without those two
(or one) being messed up.
I guess if you think about disturbances it may help. Good disturbance(ones
that help the plants) = water change, filter cleaning, adding the right
amounts of nutrients, hordes of algae grazers etc.
Bad disturbances= low CO2, high NO3, high NH4/NO2, high fish load, chronic
zero ppm for any macro/trace nutrient, constantly moving plants around,
never cleaning/algae removal.

I've had some folks expect that nutrients alone are suppose to work magic
and clear up their tank that looks like Green Hell. Or that PO4 at .7ppm is
causing all of their problems. This is unrealistic.

Hope this helps. You need to work on the nutrients, CO2 and NO3 mostly. Keep
them relatively stable. Get rid of and attack the algae you have in there
Tom Barr