Over the summer I set up and cycled a planted 10 gallon tank for my son. It has 2 java ferns, a couple of anubias, and 3 Cryptocoryne Lucens. After it was cycled, we've also added 1 honey gourami, 4 glowlight tetras, and 1 ghost shrimp. The past couple of months I have been battling algae blooms. It looks like a fuzzy green carpet growing over surfaces. I have wiped the glass down several times and just last night even took all the plants out, manually cleaned them, suctioned the substrate and really tried to get most of the algae out.
I tested the water last night before I cleaned. Ammonia and Nitrites were both at 0 and Nitrates were between 5-10 ppm
. The temp is between 78 and 80. Our tap water has high pH, so I also struggle with keeping that in check. Last night it was probably close to 8. I've used pH down from API, but I have to dose pretty significantly to get any noticeable decline in the pH. And then the decline only lasts a day or two before it's right back where it was before. I make sure the new tap water I put in at water changes is right at 7 or below, but it always creeps back up.
Are there any thoughts on what I can do to 1) stop these gosh darn algae blooms, and 2) get a better handle on my pH? I've added a couple of photos of before I cleaned last night.