02-11-2008, 03:12 PM
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I must agree--I had the same problem. Currently, I have a 38 fully planted tank. I don't use CO2 because I really don't need it. I don't have a lid so the tank is fully open, and I have a twin tube light fixture over it 2x30watt plus a little 15watt marineglo on half to give the more light-demanding plants more of the blue spectrum that they need. My substrate is about 40 lbs of black fluorite and 15 lbs of small river rock on the top.
I've turned a powerhead around so that it pumps down into an undergravel filter plate so when I dose my ferts, they go straight to the roots where they can be absorbed. I do a weekly fert dose of iron and excel as well as a small water change Although I don't have CO2 running, all my plants grow incredibly well. I have several dwarf lilies, telanthera, and other high-light plants that grow great with little algae problems. A good idea is to use flourish excel as a nice carbon source. It's also got a small amount of algaecide in it that is used commercially in the shipping industry.