12-06-2013, 08:56 AM
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prune and replant the prunings
nitrates at 40 should be fine
a ph of 7.4 you'll have ammonium that plants will love, you'll have nitrates that the plants can consume as well
the brown stuff, ... diatomes would make sence as suggested except for the age of the tank, damn, so close yet so far off :(
cyano is a possibility
green dust algae (granted i've never heard of it on plants)
other algaes (pay more attention to the shape and growth than the color, the color is not as accurate. ... i think the only color i have not heard algae take is blue, ... but reds, oranges, browns, greens, even near black, ... thousands of different species out there.
let the plants grow, prune, replant, and repeat, till things get to where you want.
doze, tab, whatever you use for the substrate
if you want to change the gravel to something finer, ... might be a pain in the rear, might be worth the extra work, you'll know the answer to that (just don't layer sand or something overtop of the old gravel - very lazy, but a good chance to smother the bacteria, create an ammonia spike and remove the ability to process that ammonia ... all at once :) ... damn :( ... i've heard of people doing that,