I've got lots of problems and am starting to pull my hair out. I really could use some experienced aquarists' opinions.
My tank is new.. running for almost 5 weeks. It's 75 gallons. I've got high pH and algae that I can't seem to get under control... right now, I'm preventing a major algae bloom (had a very bad hair algae) with API's AlgaeFix. I drastically reduced light intensity and time since that outbreak. But as you can see in the picture, I've got a good amount of green algae on the rocks and a brown'ish algae on the walls and plant leaves.
I don't believe my tank has cycled completely yet as I've never seen my nitrates go to zero. My pH is high... depending on what brand/type of tester I'm using it drastically varies. Here's my water parameters as of tonight.
Temp: 75 degrees F
pH: ~8.3 (using API Master Kit); 7.5 (using API Strips); 7.8 (using Tetra Test Strips)
Nitrate: 10-20 (using API Master Kit); 40 (using API Strips); 10 (using Tetra Test Strips)
As you can guess, I'm frustrated just in the fact that I don't even know what my water parameters are because none of the tests are consistent.
I'm running my lights (two 54 watt bulbs) on the following schedule.
- Midday and Aquaflora blubs: 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM; BREAK; 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM
- "Moon" LEDs: 8:59 PM to 11:59 PM
The good news is... the fish appear to be happy and healthy. In total, there's 24 smaller fish, including two rubber lip plecos.
I would really appreciate some advice on how to control my algae.. and what in the world should I do about my pH? Does anyone use a good reliable electronic tester? I'm tired of comparing colors.