Last night I practically tore all the plants out and gave the tank and new look, CO2 is also running and here are all the details.

I was dealing with a good bit of BBA over the past couple of weeks most probably caused by a CO2/light imbalance; I was most definitely giving this tank much more light than it needed for the amount of plant mass that I had growing. To fix this problem, I had initially cut the photoperiod down to just 4 hours with 216W going, but that had little effect on the algae and a noticable effect on the plants. So then I upped the photoperiod to 216W for 4 hours and then 108W for another 5 hours. The algae stopped spreading as aggresively, probably because the plants were able to compete somewhat, but there was still plenty of algae. At this point (about a week ago), algae had covered most of the plants, driftwood, substrate etc. and so I really had to start tackling it head on.

If you look back you'll see that I began spot treating with H2O2 and this has been working quite well. It takes anywhere from 7-10 days post treatment to completely remove both cladophora and BBA from the spot, but it is effective. As much as I tried though, it seemed that the algae would not stop spreading to the plants and so I had to cut the infested bits off and replant clean portions.

Here's a shot of the tank before I got started:




And here it is after 4 hours of H2O2 treatments, cutting and replanting:



You can't really see much now as I tried to cut plants into single nodes which as you can imagine has made them very short. My thinking is that I'll be able to increase plant mass much quicker if I start with tons of very tiny stems rather than have large stems, cut them, replant, repeat. I'll have a good number of plants growing in quickly hopefully.

To prevent another algae breakout, I've started injecting CO2 (was going to anyway) at ~1bps on the JBJ bubble counter. I've upped Flourish Comprehensive dosing from 10mL/90g a week to 30mL a week. I dose every other day and do a big water change on the 7th day, anywhere from 40-60%. I'll probably be switching to dry fertilizers soon as I'm going through the Flourish really fast and don't feel like spending all that much money for no reason. The photoperiod is now at 11 hours a day 216W which I know is too much for the plants I have now; I'd like to see if they grow faster, or if the algae starts coming back... I don't really know at this point. I've also switched up the flow on the tank by placing both filters on the right side, placing a 125gph pump on top facing downward/left and placing a 200gph pump above the CO2 diffuse facing left. Hopefully this brings more flow over the plants which will even out nutrient distribution and prevent the build up of algae on the leaves which hinders growth.

The fish are all doing pretty well... a couple rasbora seems to have body slime and/or fin rot which is peculiar given that the water parameters are perfect and I didn't notice anything wrong with any of the fish when they came in. I'm guessing that they are some of the weaker fish and they haven't been getting much to eat. I'll try to spot feed them if possible.