Thanks, Brian! And thanks for the suggestion about the light too.
Speaking of algae issues, yesterday (the second day) I noticed a fine green layer of algae developing all over the glass and I'm like "Nooooooo! Waaahh! So soon?!?", but today on the third day it was gone.
I can still see the fine dusty spots where it all was, but it's no longer green and it appears to be now deceased before it even got a chance to get going. So I think there's definitely something to this high lights malarky. I won't say it's high nutrients because the NO3 is only testing at 1ppm so that's a definite deficiency, yet the algae still died off.
It can't possibly be an allele or a toxin because it happened just too fast. It takes days or weeks for an algicide to break down algae cells (believe me, I've tried lots of them!). And the tank's only been up for three days, so not long enough for an allele to accumulate. Something that kills thousands of blooming algae cells literally overnight can only be an oxidiser like a UV, Ozone or Hydrogen Peroxide. But no UV on this tank, or O3 either. Along with the strong light and high CO2, I'm also full-dosing Flourish Excel daily, so my belief
that it's strong light + liquid C + O2 in H2O = H2O2 that's doing it has been strengthened!
Speaking of strong lights, I've just worked out that now with a 3" substrate, the water volume is only 15.5 gallons, not the original 19. So that makes the light a massive 7.09 watts per gallon!! Is that how it works? Do you include the substrate when calculating volume?
So I guess I can switch one of the 55w tubes off (they have separate switches so I don't have to actually remove a bulb) and I should still have a decent 3.56 watts/gal. Which I think might be better because with the strong lights on it now, the Sessiflora on the left has already reached the surface after only three days! 6" in just three days. 2" a day is just too fast!!! Looky:
Brian, I guess the tank's already growing vigorously from day one! I'll admit that using all already established and growing plants has given me a running start instead of using plants newly-bought from the store. None of this waiting for plants to establish or emersed leaves to drop off nonsense!
The Sunset Hygro on the right is also zooming up as is the Aromatica at right back. The Bacopa too. So I think I really need to slow the growth down, or forget about stem plants! Don't want to be pruning heavily every few days...
I'll keep the high light for a while longer though as I want to confirm what the situation with algae is.
I have to add the Sessiliflora growth looks a whole lot better in lower light and low CO2 conditions. You can see it in the tank-on-the-floor pic where I'd just moved it in and it's all nice and bushy and branching. But in the high light, it just gets all stalky and doesn't branch at all as it shoots up.
Anyway, as I mentioned already, the nitrates are only 1ppm. I don't know if it's so low because the plants are gobbling it all up or not. I'm feeding the fish like crazy but it doesn't seem to get any higher than that (yet). So as an experiment, I just swapped out 50% of the water with some from a goldie tank with 10ppm nitrate. So I'll test again tomorrow to see how much there is tomorrow.
DAY 3 PARAMETERS:
Temp - 27.3 C
pH - 7.03 (how cool is that, just using adjustments to the regulator?
NH4 - 0 ppm
NO2 - 0.05 ppm
NO3 - 1 ppm
KH - 9 deg
CO2 - 27 ppm
O2 (night) - 6.2 ppm
O2 (day) - 8.2 ppm
So at full blast the plants are only adding 2 ppm to the Dissolved Oxygen content during the day, which means a full 75% of O2 is being provided by the air through surface exchange. And the plants *are* producing O2 - here's the large Anubia leaf in the centre of the tank.