I have an 800 gallon system, my fish to plant ratio seems okay. When I first got started my water was clear, and then went cloudy and greenish. I heard PH was a big issue, so I bought just PH test kit, and found I was pretty alkyline, so I added acid to bring it towards more neutrel. Water cleared up great, but plants still seem to be growing slow. Just bought a complete water test kit to see what the nitriates, etc should be. Can someone tell me what all the "normal" readings should be for good plant growth?
Your ammonia and nitrite should be 0 if your system is cycled up.
Your pH could be anywhere between 6-7.6 and the system can still function. (I usually like mine above 6.5 since the test kits often don't read below 6 so if it reads 6 it could be much lower.)
The nitrates. Well the exact level they need to be isn't really clear. If your nitrates are high, you may need more plants or perhaps some trace elements so your plants will grow better. If your nitrates are 0 that doesn't necessarily mean that you don't have enough. It only means that your plants are using all there is. If your plants are doing well and your nitrates are 0 then perfect, you have a balanced system. If your nitrates are 0 and your plants are showing signs of nitrogen deficiency then perhaps you need more fish or better fish food or less plants or less algae. I notice your bins are clear which is likely to let algae grow and steel nutrients from your plants.
No problem, I can paint them black so no sun gets in. Didn't know that wa san issue
Just a word on painting...I noticed a long time ago that if I rough up the plastic with a medium grit sand paper, that the paint doesn't seem to flake off in places over time (weeks) as it does if I don't 'rough up' the plastic. I guess the sand paper treatment gives the otherwise (too) smooth plastic surface some 'tooth' for the paint to grab and hold onto.