Within the past week I've added 3 otos, 8 RCS, and 3 Cardinal Tetras. After each new addition I waited 24 hours and made sure my ammonia/nitrite was 0 to make sure my tank can handle the new bioload. I'll be adding my Cardinals a little slower since I think they will be adding to most of my bioload.
And because of my recent success I decided to take some real pictures.
So I never mentioned it but a week or so ago I noticed some slime (BGA) growing on my plants. Coming from the SW world, I thought crap, I need to do water changes. Everyday I'd do a small water change and manually remove as much as I can, but it always came back the other day. I didn't think much of it because it wasn't going out of control. Doing some major maintenance on my tank today, I turned the tank around to access some areas I couldn't see. To my surprise I found a whole colony of BGA. Finally, I did some research and found out BGA can show up with low levels of nitrates. O...M...G.... all this time I could have been doing more harm to my plants?
I quickly tested my nitrates and it was barely 5ppm. Not knowing for sure if N from pfertz is a source of nitrate, I tested a vial of the solution. Yes it is. I then dosed 2 pumps into my aquarium. I test the water 5 minutes later and it read about 40-80ppm. Crap! i changed about a gallon and then tested again. It reads around 20-40ppm now. I'm hoping this will significantly do two things: improve my plant growth, and solve my BGA problem.