How are you measuring your pH? Liquid test or calibrated probe?
The reason I ask is that you have something odd going on with your numbers. At KH of 5 your degassed pH of 8.2 seems unusually high.
I don't beleive the error is with my measurement of pH, I will get a Marine pinpoint soon to check but my measured values are inline with the city reports. Greater the error in Kh is more likely, I don't think one should assume that everyone's Tap water fits the theory for RODI water with Carbonate equilibrium. I could have other forms of buffers or basicity in my water that raises my pH in addition to Carbonates.
Do you use a drop checker? While they aren't highly accurate, they do provide a visual indicator to confirm what you are seeing with your measured values.
I run CO2 24/7 my pH doesn't fluctuate except after a water change so I don't see a need for a drop checker.
I will get a pH probe just to check my water pH more accurately, but I am still more basic than carbonates alone so I have to get advice on whether that is likely to underestimate my CO2 from ph drop.
While I could beleive my pH drop range could be 6.5 - 6.7 given the accuracy of the API test that really doesn't change things much for me in terms of having enough ppm CO2 for my plants which could be in the 30 - 50ppm range roughly.
As to ferts, l don't have any experience with Thrive. If you are going to try and take this tank to the next level, I would highly recommend getting dry ferts so that you can control the ratios. Looks to me like PO4 is light in relation to NO3, and B is very high compared to everything else in the micros.
I agree I want to order dry ferts, if you can show me a table of EI Micro dose targets that would be helpful I didn't find a reference. I know my Phosphates are low so I am trying to source Potassium MonoPhosphate in Canada or wait for my uncle to bring me dry ferts from NilocG.
Do you suggest these or somewherelse? EI based NPK + CSM+B - NilocG Aquatics
The Boron is a bit high because I am not dosing Calcium as it is already in my water at 31ppm I could add a bit of Ca and Mg which would put me closer to other people's ratios but not sure it will make a differece unless I see Ca2+ deficiency or Mg2+ deficiency. I am also not sure of the EI targets for Mg2+, Ca2+.
I also have no experience with your light. One thing to keep in mind is that a 17G tank is not very tall. This has a huge effect on PAR, as the light is very close to the substrate compared to other tanks. Have you looked up the light to see if someone has posted PAR values at various depths? I would want to know what I am dealing with, as too much light is a prime cause of hair algae (and low CO2).
I don't have my own measured par values I estimated them from here.
12" from substrate is 130par I run mine at 60% dimmed which is 78par. But I am actually 13 - 14 inches from my substrate so a little less than that so I guesstimated 65PAR at centreline and less in the corners. The raised wood would likely be in the 100+ par range.
You mention that the flow is blowing the plants around. IME, that is not what you want. Good flow is a wide gentle flow. Do you normally have some surface agitation? Is so, that is good. You want high oxygen levels, as it allows you to take pH down further safely with CO2.
Thanks will keep that in mind.
But all that said, the tank looks like a very nice start. Now it's tweaking things here and there to get a better balance. With the plants that are already affected, I would let them grow a bit. You said the new growth looks good and algae free. Let them get a bit taller, then remove the infected portions and replant.
Thanks for the positive feedback.
Overall though I blocked sunlight from behind the tank and I am relatively certain that was the start and end of my algae problems. I have to move the tank sooner rather than later, for now I put foam mats behind the tank to block sunlight.
Good luck and good to see you start a journal. I look forward to seeing how things progress from here.
Thanks for your feedback I appreciate your detailed comments.