Ok, here are the details on the tank....set up last May, 55g with fluorite and playsand combination substrate 2-3" deep. Mixed hardy plants-mod. density, 110wPC 6700k and 40w NO GE aquarium bulb on 2 cycles...down to 10 hrs. a day total. Low fish load, 2 dwarf gourami, dozen small tetras, a few cory cats and ottos. Filstar xp2. pH 6.4 to 7.0, gh 2 to 3, kH 0, nitates, ammonia all 0. 75 deg. F. No direct sun, MINIMAL food, NO additives or fertilizers. Fish are thriving, none lost ever. Plants are maintaianing, very slow growth which is fine with me, thats why I'm staying away from any fertilizers or CO2. Tap water has high phosphate, and soft. Tank was initially filled w RO/DI water (which I have for my reef), but someone on here said that that was so wrong for a planted tank.......using rodi water stripped of minerals and such, ( Good point) so I've gone back to changes with tap.
Here's whats been tried to so far to battle this green (and I mean thick soup) water: (not nesc. in this order)
1. up to 15 days of full back out......it came back
2. frequent 80-90% h2o changes........back
3. Floccuant (sp)? "crystal clear" .....worked for a day
4. reduce light cycles and change combinations ........back
5. upgrade to rena filstar filter from old HOB
6. doing nothing for 2 months...........no change, just a little greener
7. hours of starting into the green depths and cursing . both out loud and silently
..........you get the idea........Yes I know that SOMETHING must be feeding this stuff, but WHAT?????? The playsand?, tapwater phosphate?, 6700k light temp? I'm not about to shell out $100 for a diatom filter unless it is guarenteed to solve the problem. I still believe in low tech systems too....i don't even want to think about a UV filter.
Ok done venting for now...thanks