Plants from mature tanks help the cycling phase? That would explain a lot... About half of the plants in this tank come from my other tanks which are both over a year old by now.As far as the cycling goes- it hasn't happened often with me, but I've had similar experiences. I'd say it only happened about 3 or 4 times. Normally it takes about a month unless I also use hardscape, a small amount of substrate and a few plants from very mature tanks, then it takes about a week and a half. From your test results you're very well cycled and your plants are definitely eating up ferts quick. I'd say at this time it's most likely the lack of appropriate nutrients and abundance of light being a potential driver of your algae bloom. But, hey- you quick cycled your tank in record time- that must've been one very mature and well working filter!!
Yes, I guess so.. This filter has been on my 20 gallon for about 6 months, at that time the 20 gallon already 6 months old though. It is a filter that consists of about 80% bio media and only the bare minimum in fine and coarse sponges. Maybe that helped?
If lack of nutrients are an issue, I'm adding about 5 ml of ferts a day but if they soak those up that quickly I'll increase it. Do you have any advice on that point? Should I up the dosage by 1 ml for x amount of time before adding more or should I immediately up the dosage to something like 10 ml per day and see what happens?
I just have a bit of trouble really believing the tank is fully cycled and I can start adding in fish.