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Please can I have some help. I am running a 500-litre planted aquarium, predominantly young Discus with Sterbai Corydoras, Peppermint Bristlenose and L333 Plecos. I am feeding heavily (in order to grow the young discus), perform 30% water changes every 3 days, my tank is sparkling with pH at 6.6, Ammonia at 0.0ppm, Nitrites at 0.0ppm and Nitrates at 10.00-12.50ppm before water changes. I vacuum during the WCs and the tank and fish all look fantastic. My lights are on for a total of 8 hours a day, 3 hours in the morning and 5 hours in the evening. We live in a unit and the tank is located in the lounge where there are no curtains with massive glass doors/windows and although the tank does not get direct sunlight the lounge is very bright so even when the lights are off the tank gets plenty of natural light.

My problem, as can be seen from the attached photographs is that algae is growing on my plants. Previously I had lights on for 13 hours a day and had a similar problem, I dipped all plants in bleach, removed the affected leaves and reduced the light to the abovementioned 8 hours. Within 10 days the algae has returned. The only other algae I have are hard green spots on the glass and some light algae on the glass, I am able to remove all algae from the glass with a magnet algae scrubber, the green spots require a bit of hard work.

I have reviewed this problem extensively online and think that I may have a phosphate problem in my tank. I do not own a phosphate test kit so can not confirm this. My thoughts are that I should purchase a phosphate test kit and if my phosphates are high place Seachem PhosGuard in my Fluval FX6 canister filter. This is all new to me, is my suggested course of action the correct way to go or should I try a different course of action? Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

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