Here's a brief update...
Those companies that say their filter carbon is phosphate free... They lie!
I could add phos-guard and the phosphate level would drop some but it would come right back up to over 2 ppm.
I pulled out the carbon, and replaced it with SeaChem's Renew. I also put in some fresh phos-guard. Phosphate is now at about .7 ppm. The hair algae is looking pissed off and some of the strands have broken free and collected on the filter intake screen. Dare I say it? I think it might be DYING!
The higher plants are looking better and making O2 more prolificly. The swords are putting out new leaves.
The Lamotte titrator says CO2 is at 47 ppm.... Which the fish don't seem to mind a bit, btw.
Red Sea low range Nitrate test says Nitrates are ZERO. I'm tempted to VERY CAREFULLY add some Yamato Green-N and see if:
a) Algae stays in check
b) The Nitrate level comes up to a detectable level
c) The plants (expecially the swords) are happier.
I'm afraid to jinx it by saying that things are on the mend... so I won't.
(But that's what I think.) <-- Fate can't read what you type in parenthesis.