I have been doing alot of reading as well as reviewing old posts trying to figure out my 20 long planted tank. Originally my reading was towards finding a balance of nutrients and lights to get some of my plants looking healthier, namely my red ludwigia and my ambulia. all the plants in the tank look great (water wisteria and two different types of swords) with the exception of those two. all in all heres what I got;
ambulia (brown, but lots of green and new growth at the water surface)
red tiger lotus (doing amazing)
two different swords (doing fine)
java moss (doing well enough)
java fern sprouts from my 55 (meh, still growing, if not silly slow)
water wisteria (amazing)
and red ludwigia (doing just awful)
I spoke some with byron about finding a balance between light and nutrients in the tank, shortly there after the tank exploded in what I believe is green hair algae (thank you google images!), which only encourages my search for balance. funny thing is, the algae is concentrated for the most part on the back wall of the aquarium, and also mixed among the top growth at the water surface of my ambulia.
if my reading, and my thinking is correct.. (which my gf can tell you is rare at best).. the problem for both stems from having too much light (in this case 72 watts at 6500k through 4 CFLs) provided to the plants and not enough of a nutrient supply to enable the plants to make optimal use of the available light. IF im correct, and i may not be, I could A) increase the available nutrients or B) decrease the lighting.
the thing is, im not really sure how to accomplish this mission. the nutrients currently offered are API root tabs once a month (just last week added the 2nd round of tabs), API leaf zone liquid fert once a week, and seachem flourish excel 1/4 capful daily. I dont see how I can really increase the nutrient levels without it coming to the point of sillyness.
would i be smarter to place a spacer between my lights in the tank to raise it up a few inches? remove a couple CFLs from the fixture?
I have read people dosing 5x the recommended daily dosage of excel every 3 days, which im not opposed to trying, however i believe without finding a balance to the aquarium the plants and algae will go south again once i stop super-dosing.
oh, and filtration is a tetra 10, with a one week old 25 gallon air powered foam filter thats seeding to replace the tetra HOB filter. bio load is 14 female bettas, 2 german blue rams, 6 spotted/peppered corys.