On August 1, 2011 I added an API Nitra-Zorb pouch.
I retested my water on August 3, 2011 with no beneficial change and the parameters are back up to:
I did another partial water change on August 3, 2011 which is just 4 days since my last one. I also put in 7 stems of bacopa and a Marimo moss ball. They said this moss ball is very good for competing with any algae that would start growing in the tank since I have such a large amount of phosphates. I replaced the media in one filter with Bio-chem zorb carbon because of the smell and now the water is crystal clear.
I have lowered the water temperature to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and for the first time I have noticed 6 of the 13 Cardinal Tetras have left the very back of the squarium and are swimming (separately) around the middle more toward the front. Of course they are very cautious and run away when I approach. I would never have imagined that they would ever do this. They are very hard to observe until they come to the front for feeding.
Since I finally tested the phosphate level and I noticed it is the very highest level at 10 I definitely need to take action. Desirable phosphates are 0.05 ppm according tothe article Phosphates in the Aquarium at Phosphates in the Aquarium
and this article recommends cleaning and water changes as a remedy.
I am unable to vacuum my gravel because I have so many delicate plants and I do not want to uproot them and disturb the roots.
Any suggestions would be appreciated to increase healthy fish and water parameters.