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fertilization, brown film, and bulbs

> From: Mike Charlton asked:
> Subject: Starting up fertilization again
> The question is: how should I start?  I have stopped injecting CO2 for
> the moment.  Should I start it first, or should I start with the PMDD?
> In the past I have had problems with nitrate being limited.  Should I
> get my nitrates up to 5 ppm first and then start adding the other
> fertilizers, or should I do it all at once?  Or perhaps I should leave
> well enough alone for a few weeks (only, I'm starting to notice pelt
> algea reappearing on my swords).

Mike, do you own a test kit? A kh & ph test kit will let you know whether you need additional CO2.
If in the past you've had a problem being NO3 limited, probably you will again. Are the plants growing well right now?
What is your lighting like? Ever test for iron?

> From: MarsalaSix at aol_com asked:
> Subject: plants covered with brown film
> My plants tend to last for a few months before they are covered with a brown
> layer that is unappealing and can't be wiped off.  I think it inhibits their
> photosynthesis, too, because they lose health, and I am forced to uproot
> them.  It always happens gradually.  I know it is most likely some sort of
> algae, but I have heard  there is a non-algae type of brown film that can
> form in tanks.

 I should add that it's a 29g tank.

>  The tank top only has room for one
> standard flourescent so lighting is limited, it's a 20 watt "vitalight," on
> almost 12 hours a day.

 Sounds like diatoms. Your lighting is pretty weak, look here first.

> From: Hoan Tran <hoanvt at operamail_com>
> Does anybody on the list have any experience with Coralife NutriGrow
> Plantlamp?

No, but I'm not impressed with Coralife. IMO, most (if not all) bulbs sold by aquarium supply
companies are way overpriced for what you get. I'd recommend a 5000 k, full spectrum lamp
with as high a CRI as you can find. Most lighting supply houses should have something
that you'll find acceptable.