Hoppy about a month ago you gave me some tips on how to add lighting to my 20 gallon tank and what ferts to use ( dont know if you remember ) anyways ive had my tank set up now for a good 3 or so months now and im now getting alge on my plants ive been noticing it slowly creeping in. it looks like hair alge and today i noticed some brown hair like stuff. my tank is a 20 gal it has 4 t8 15w bulbs im using the flourish instead of the csm+b,kno3 and kh2po3 1x per week on those and i have the root tabs in there.4 bottles of diy co2, filter is a hang on back one im doing 25% water change weekly and my lights are on for 9 hrs a day. what do you think i can do to remove the alge in my tank. before it gets out of hand! another thing i forgot to mention when i bought my plants they they came in a plastic container filled with holes and the plants was attched to a cotton inside the container the person that sold me the plants told me i can put them in like that
I'm using sandy river silt for my tank, and have done so in the past, with great results. But, if your soil is mostly sand, and mica, which the gold specks probably are, it isn't likely to be very good. Look for soil under trees, where the fallen leaves have composted in place, giving a rich humus layer on top.
"Normal soil" could mean a lot of things. If you use mineralized topsoil, capped with something like Flourite, it should last as a nutrient filled substrate for more than a year, probably 2 years or more. It is always desirable to fertilize the water even when you have a fertile substrate. That gives the plants two sources of food and lets you be a little careless about dosing the water. But, with low light, you can do without the water dosing and just rely on the substrate.
Watts are irrelevant when determining how much light you will have. Instead, you need to consider what type of light you are using, T5HO, T5NO, T8, PC, etc, and how far the light will be from the substrate, where the intensity is the lowest. Within each type of light, the wattage just indicates how long the bulb is, thus, how long a tank it will light uniformly.
My husband did have a question with the Coralife 2 bulb T5NO light, he was wondering if it's enough wattage for a 55 gallon tank. Here is the link you sent. . .thanks! Question was regarding an Amazon Biotope aquarium set-up.