Hey everyone! It's been a while since I've "shown off". Usually I'd be modest and focus on the negative, but this time I'm gonna let my little tank shine : )
A little over a month ago, I was battling, oh, half a dozen types of algae in my 29 gallon tank (I think there were staghorn, green spot or dust, hair and thread, bba, and fuzz), plus having some bad plant growth (lots of yellowing, brown, even "dry" crisp looking leaves, or melting plants). As per Byron's suggestion, which totally contradicted my best ideas, I stopped using Excel. This didn't make any sense to me at all (after all, wasn't I using Excel to stop algae growth???), but since Byron's plants look waaa-haaaay better than mine, I decided to follow his advice even though I didn't agree.
Well, one morning I woke up and it hit me...the rationale for stopping the Excel became totally clear. I won't go into detail, but it just suddenly made sense. For the subsequent weeks, I noticed my plants really taking off. Even my swords, which were yellowing and dying and not showing new growth, are greener and taller than ever (despite the holes in them that my loaches can claim responsibility for!). My hygros are almost to the top, and everything just looks really happy. Algae is almost completely in check. Even my java fern is healthy (one of them, anyway). Rotala's have new growth like crazy.
I've also replaced my compact fluorescents with regular t-8 bulbs. Cutting the wattage by 65% has generated way more plants growth (and greener plants). Another shocking discovery.
So here are my pictures, taken just an hour ago...I also added a picture of my gargantuan amano shrimp and a loach on a log (another gargantuan creature that will soon be moving with his buddies into the 75 gallon). The little plants in the very front row are my little orphan plants...cuttings and things shared from other people's tanks. Hopefully they'll grow and I can move them when they get big and strong. I wish we could all see each other's tanks in person, but for now we'll have to rely on, well, my cheapy little camera technology...