my 77 is getting lusher by the day and while I would not classify it as heavily planted - I would say reasonably densely planted. (here is a fast snap)...
Well... here are the latest test results....
kh 70ppm (3.92 degrees)
gh 140ppm (7.84 degrees)
PH 6.7 to 6.8
My regular water out of the tap is PH 7.6
Plants are doing well and growing nicely but very very little to no pearling... Been dosing and testing to maintain as follows... (with 50% weekly W/C), lights on 12 hour timer 10am to 10pm.
Nitrates 5-10 ppm
Phosphates 0.5-1.0 ppm
Iron 0.1-0.3 ppm
Potassium 10-20 ppm
hopefully that should suffice the preliminary information...
NOW to my question... I have noticed in the morning the fish seem a bit stressed and hovering to the surface. I had a few fish deaths as well - all happening at night (2 blue rams and 1 angel) - all fish were not really showing any obvious signs of illness the days before. I am assuming the fish load surpasses the plants ability to produce enough oxygen to keep them alive through the night.
I have added a small air pump underneath the cabinet - hooked to a separate timer. It comes on at night at 2am, 4am, 6am, and 8am - each time the pump runs for 30 minutes and stops. I have had this running now like this for 2 nights now and in the morning the fish are not at the surface anymore etc...
However I do fear Algae - Dennerle used to suggest that o2 levels be maintained at 2.5 - 3.5 mg/l in the morning and rise to 3.5 - 6 mg/l by evening when the plants are "pumping it out" so to speak. It was thought that levels of 8mg/l or higher could start to produce algae... like trickle filters increasing the redox potential thus making trace elements unavailable and destroy vitamins etc... (oxidizing excess bivalent iron back to trivalent etc... mind you with the amount of Flourite I got in there this may not be a problem?)
Now this may be kinda old thinking but is it still relevant? Will my running the airstone as above cause me some grief in the algae department in the future?