Oh, and if you still prefer live plants, you could get by with low- to medium light if you stick with anubias, java ferns, java moss and marimo mossballs that just rest on the substrate. These don't need a lot of light and ferts. Just be sure not to bury the rhizomes of the Anubias or java ferns in the substrate. They can be attached to rocks or wood in the tank, or rest on top of the substrate with their roots submerged, but not the rhizome. They will send out their own roots into the substrate, and do just fine.
Just another suggestion that might make it easier for you...
20 gal. high: planted; 1 zebra danio, 6 glofish, several snails, 2 (visible) RCS; AC50, Azoo air. 65 gal: planted; 4 rosy barbs, 6 glofish, 5 white cloud minnows, 3 zebra danios, 5 dojo loaches, several snails; AC110 x 2.
I certainly know your pain. I may be able to help with the algae on the glass.
I think there are three ways other than killing light to battle algae. There's this:
A additive algaecide
And Algae Scrapper
Originally Posted by http://www.marimoballs.com
And you don't need the handle with the scrapper, just your arm, the blade of the scraper, and your hand.
I opted for the last choice, b/c I have algae eating fish; which need to eat it. I only clean one side of the tank walls a week and everything looks good. Total cost, labor+$2.99 for the blades. If I didn't have the algae consumers, I might opt for the algaecide. I've never used it, not heard one bad thing yet about it, and trust the Tetra Brand. I use other Tetra products and the ones I've used have good track records in my tanks.
I would hold off on buying anything elaborate for the time being, because of the stress your feeling. I also wouldn't worry much about Ph from your tap, unless your stocking really sensitive fish from a completely different location from your area. Most likely the fish you've purchased were already assimilated to your Ph, if were from a store in your municipality/area. And if not, fish can slowly be assimilated to different Ph, with the proper techniques. Lastly, a natural way to help buffer harder water, would be to add a nice piece of driftwood to the tank. Although, buying one would be costly, so I would recommend holding off and figuring out if you really want to go that route/search alternate routes.
Hope everything works out for you and sorry for lengthy response. I didn't even think I would be this longwinded.
Shouldn't your plants eat up some of the Nitrates? I would think the plants should help your tank out. Like some others have said you may be able to find better water neutralizer to help out your problems.
sorry I can't be that much of a help lol
good luck, stick with it!
RIP Shark Bait, my Red Tail Shark :(
Algae is WAY better at out competing for nutrients than plants. This is why with HO lighting, you can get Green spot relatively fast.