Hello, my name is Mark and I have been interested in planted aquaria for about 2 years now. I currently maintain a 120 litre planted aquarium containing two power-heads, co2 injection and an internal Bluwave 05 filter (not the best filter due to the low flow rate). For the most part, the aquarium has been a low-light set-up due to having used Amazon Frogbit (a floating plant) to block out some of the PAR from the 2 x 24w T5 HO fluorescent bulbs. This set-up allowed me to keep an aquarium with no algae whatsoever, however, plant growth was very sluggish and plants like Parvula grass and even some species of cryptocoryne would die. As a result of this, I obviously upped the PAR levels by making the drastic decision to throw away all of my Amazon frogbit to allow full light to reach the plants. Before its removal, I added 2 x Cryptocoryne brown and 2 x Cryptocoryne green, 2 x miniature Cryptocoryne, 2 x Parvula grass, 1 x Cryptocoryne broad leaves, some Echinodorus and 3 x Limonphilia Sessiliflora to ensure that the nutrients would be absorbed by these plants rather than algae spores.
To my absolute horror, a hideous bunch of white particles have started forming on pretty much every plant leaf in the aquarium. It doesn't stop there though. This particle is growing on the glass panes, drop-checker, Seachem ammonia card and the filter. I have no idea what it is called or how it forms; the only thing I am sure of is that the higher light levels have induced it to form. I'm not entirely sure how to reduce my light levels without creating a fire hazard as some people over on UKAPS have suggested removal of the reflector and putting 'cheesecloth' near the light which I'm sure will cause extreme heat build up.
The purpose of this thread is to ask for help in identifying what this white particle growth is; I have a list of the types of algae (BBA, BGA, cladophora, diatoms, GDA, GSA, green water, hair algae, hydra, staghorn etc) that can form but it doesn't fit the criteria of any forms of algae on that list. Some users of UKAPS have suggested that the white particles may be fragments of dead leaf, but why would my plants be dying when I'm supplying ample co2 and a good light level.
Any help would be appreciated with this problem as it's nightmare that won't end.
Edit: in trying to resolve the above problem by upping the co2, my german blue ram has become stressed and has developed hole-in-the-head. If there was a word to describe the situation i'm in (nightmare is an under statement!) I would use it.
Lighting: 2 x 24w HO Hagen 22" fluorescent tubes;
Capacity: 120 litres
Planting: Almost jam-packed 'in my opinion'
CO2: Yes; Super atomiser installed for production of a mine mist of bubbles. 2 Bubbles per second going in according to bubble-counter. 2ml of Easy-carbo is also dosed daily.
Nutrients: Estimative Index; 8ppm of nitrate and 3-5 ppm of phosphate added every 2 days; TPN added in between.
Please find enclosed pictures and a video of the aforementioned problem:
Video should be 480p as HD movies take too long to upload
Click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhqwS...ature=youtu.be if video doesn't load.