05-06-2012, 10:33 AM
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I think there is also a nutrient issue here, which I will come too.
First the algae. I suspect you mean brush or beard algae, this is common on leaf edges. And light is the cause, period. Reducing the duration may help, once you get the duration balanced with the nutrients, but if the intensity is still beyond the balance you might have to consider removing some of the light. But the nutrients issue has to be solved too or this still won't help rid the algae.
The water is too soft for plants, I have this same problem out of the tap. If GH is below 4 dGH plants will struggle, some won't make it, and Hygrophila is one of these. Calcium, magnesium and potassium are likely too minimal.
Your house water softener also likely adds salt to lower the hardness, and this can cause trouble for plants and certainly for any fish. This will raise the TDS (total dissolved solids) but in the wrong way, plus there is the serious issue of the sodium chloride. I would look into how your softener works and consider bypassing it for aquarium water. If you need to soften it for the fish species, there are safer ways we can discuss.
Rather than just dumping this or that in to deal with the plant issue, I suggest we get all the data and go from there. What is the GH of the tap water pre-softener? And do you want to lower it for the fish?