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[APD] submitted for your advice

Hi folks,

A couple months ago, I submitted an email with an URL to some  
pictures of my 55g tank and asked for advice about the plants.   
general consensus was that nutrients were limiting, in particular,  
nitrate, so I upped the CO2 by lowering the pH set point on my set up  
and did more dosing with dry chemicals (Nitrate, phosphate, potassium  
and sulfate) Tom Barr gave me when I set up the tank (he lives in  
town).  The net result was a real good culture system for  
cyanobacter.  I had thick sheets of dark green algae growing on  
plants and the walls and the gravel.  I was kind of busy at the end  
of October, but during Sept and Oct, did water changes and dosing and  
suctioning of the algae, trying to get things "corrected".  Well, I  
grew a good amount of algae, and the plants didn't really perk up and  
I couldn't deal with it.

A couple weeks ago, my CO2 tank ran out, so for the past 2 water  
changes there has been no dosing and no CO2.  PH is 8.0  The algae  
can't handle it.  It's just slowly going away. Plants look OK,  
certainly no worse, and fish are fine.  I purchased little shrimps  
from AZ (from a person on the planted tank forum) are growing and now  

Since I had the day off, I went to Woodland and got CO2.  $46 for 5  
lbs from Airgas.  What do other people pay?

Should I hook it up and see what happens to the algae?  Or should I  
do a black out and then hook it up?  When I add the CO2, I suppose I  
need to start dosing again, right?

I've done a reasonable amount of surfing and reading and am still not  
sure whether 2 54w T5 bubs is low light or medium (over a 55g tank).

thanks for all comments,

John F. Hess, Davis California   johnfhess at comcast_net

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