Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Nice set up. That RCS is definitely a trooper but I doubt he'll live pretty long with your NH4 and NO2 levels like that! Dark green and purple, yikes!
How long are your photo periods? 18 watts over the 30C will definitely create algae blooms (almost guaranteed if it's a new tank and you're using an enriched soil type substrate). I'd try to cut it down to 6 or 8 hours at max, especially if you are not injecting with CO2. Once the plants catch up to the new environment (probably ~1 to 2 weeks) you'll have less of an algae issue (beyond the typical GSA/film that builds up on your walls).
You should hit a brown algae / diatom bloom within the first few days, but that can almost always be curbed by doing daily 70 to 80% water changes. You can check if you have diatoms in the water column by filling a white bucket with about 2 to 3" of your aquarium water. You'll notice that the water is yellowish/brown.