Originally Posted by CatoeSc
Thanks for the advice on vacuuming
As for lights, they are running about 8.5 hours a day right now. Plants are growing, but some are riddled with algae. Checked phosphates today for 1st time to find they are at .5 and have gotten mixed reviews. Some sites say I should have more than that in a planted tank, others say I should have zero an recommend finding food that doesn't have any phosphate content at all. I'm at a loss on how to stop the algae.
With a high-light style tank, your plants will be using up quite a bit, if not all of the available nutrients in a short period of time. This means algae can thrive! Having .5 Phosphates isn't too bad. You could certainly bump it up just a bit. But you could be lacking in Nitrates (NO3) too. Here's a good article that helped me out when I was first trying to understand fertilizers and the (roughly) ideal PPM's of your planted tank. See if it helps, and ask as many questions as you need to!