10-15-2010, 12:31 PM
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Thanks for that info, a couple things stand out at me.
First, the light. Anubias is a very low-light plant. It does best in fairly dim light or under the protection of floating plants. I would strongly suggest the latter option, because the other thing I spotted was high (relatively) nitrate. This is a sign of too much organics with nothing to use them, and in high light, your algae will occur under such conditions. It is not the nitrate per say that is the issue, but the cause--organics (nutrients). And twice weekly Flourish is adding more. Nitrate under 40ppm is not really a problem for fish, although most would recommend it stay under 20ppm. With live plants, it should be less than 10ppm, but Anubias is a slow growing plant thus not using nutrients quickly.
My first suggestion would be to acquire some floating plants. Ceratopteris cornuta is ideal for this and it grows very fast in almost any water and can easily be thinned regularly to keep it just right. I will easily cover the surface, and provide good shade for Anubias (and many crypts also benefit like this). If you can't find this plant, some stem plants do very well floating; Brazilian Pennywort is one of the best, and Wisteria will also work. Cabomba should too. These also are fast growing (all stem plants are). And this means they will use nutrients more than Anubias on its own, so this will help with the nitrates and algae reduction in both ways (reducing light and using nutrients). I would also reduce Flourish to once weekly, even with floating plants. You can easily use it twice if the plant response indicates that is needed after 1-2 weeks [thinking here of the floating plants, Anubias should be no different]. And dose Flourish a day after the water change; the water conditioner probably detoxifies heavy metals, and some micro-nutrients are heavy metals (iron, zinc, manganese) and the conditioner will make these inactive for about 24 hours.
Second suggestion is to do more frequent water changes; this is the best way (other than lots of live plants) to control nitrates. A weekly partial water change should be done; the amount depends upon conditions and fish, and number and type of plants. The more plants the less water needs changing; the more fish, the more water; the higher the nitrates, the more water should be changed. Have you tested your tap water for nitrate? You should; some tap water contains nitrates, and if this is the case it is not a tank issue but one that can be handled with a water conditioner like Prime that detoxifies nitrates at water changes. I can explain more if you find nitrate in your tap water. And a note, if using the API liquid test kit, shake Regent #2 for 2+ minutes before adding the drops; the instructions say 30 seconds but several have found inaccurate higher readings unless the regent is shaken for 2 minutes.
Last comment is on the type of light; the bulbs are fine, I have two 10w over my 20g so I know the amount of light and with floating plants that will be fine. But what type are they? "Daylight" or some similar name, with a Kelvin rating around 6500K, are best. If you are using very cool lights (will have a higher K rating) plants will not do as well but algae will. Same if it is too warm (lower K) the algae takes advantage. A daylight or full spectrum around 6500K (anywhere from 5500-7000K will work) is best for plants and controlling algae.