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I'll second getting a cheap timer so your photo period is consistent. Sounds like you are going for a low tech planted shrimp tank? As long as you do weekly water changes 50%, I wouldn't worry too much about your nitrates. They likely aren't directly causing the cyanobacteria and many folks with planted tanks keep them a little higher on purpose. Adding phosphate or oxygen to the tank will both hinder/prevent the future development of cyanobacteria (as will the liquid CO2/Excel/Glutaraldehyde).

Sounds like you're running a sponge filter, so the water should be fairly well oxygenated. If you want more flow, see if you can run your sponge filter using a jet-lifter from swiss tropicals:


They actually move a lot more water around the tank than the standard vertical bubble tube most sponge filters have. If it won't fit your current filter, you can just suction cup the jetlifter in the tank to move water around. Or just buy a small sponge filter from swiss tropicals and run it in parallel with your existing filter for a month if you don't want extra stuff in your tank all the time and don't want to fiddle with matting up filter parts.
 
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