I gave up on the "planted" part of my tank [WARNING: Long Rant]
Most unfortunately I decided to remove the plants and stop the light on my planted tank :'( I have been battling with an algae infestation (Blue-green and green hair algae mostly) for months now. it has been choking my plants and making my tank look nasty. I got tired of it and gave up. I have tried altering my light, c02, ferts, WC's, algaecides, everything. Not even 100%WC changed anything. The algae kept coming right back. Couldn't find what could possibly be causing all this - I researched till my brain hurt. It didnt help that my mom was complaining that the electric bill was $20 more expensive this month - she wanted to blame it on me but there is no way my tank took up that much money. I even did the calculations which came out at around $7-8. But I told her I would turn off the light just to placate her. So this morning, I took one long look at my tank and said "screw it!"
I just took out my swords, wisteria, and apongetons. I left in the java ferns - hope they will be able to survive on just ambient room light. Couldnt bring myself to rip out the giant hygros though - they really are such beautiful plants. Probably wont live for long though :( Bought some plastic plants to replace them. Looking at them just makes me depressed. And to top it all off Tyrion is suffering some kind of parasitic illness. I currently have him QT'd.
Dont know why I'm even ranting at this but I just HATE giving up on something. May try again sometime later when I have more money to spend on all the fancy gadgets and stuff you need for a perfect planted tank.