Well I wish I could say things have been all "rainbows and bunnies"... Lost a SEA or two from jumping out of the tank. I've been looking for a glass top but can't find one that doesn't have a middle brace, and alas... I've got algae everywhere!
I've never had this kind of algae, but then again I have never started with planted tank, my previous was an established tank that I went planted, so I assume this is a normal right of passage.
This stuff seemed to have originated on the java moss I got from the LFS, which was of poor quality, and my gut feeling when I bought it was to avoid it, but I didn't listen.
This was 3 days after removing the majority of the java moss. This stuff grows like wildfire!
Brown hair algae, Diatoms, Rhizoclonium?
, on Flickr
It "was" isolated to the java moss, but after kicking the hornets nest, it spead to everything in the tank.
, on Flickr
As best I can tell from google, and these forums is its a form of brown hair algae most times refered to as "Rhizoclonium". Its VERY fast growing, very fragile, slimy, and difficult to remove without spreading all over the tank. I broke out the microscope and this is what came up at 40x.
, on Flickr
Today did a rather large (60%ish) water change, removed as much as I could in the 3 hours my back would allow me (mostly by rubbing leaves with my finger and thumb), and dosed Excel by the 5ml/10G initial dosing regiment the bottle recommended. We'll see what happens...
I've been doing the PPS-pro method, and my nitrates have stayed pretty much around the 5-10ppm mark, amonia/nitrate @ 0, and generally phosphates have remained almost undetectable by days end. Have been sticking with 24 watt per hour light cycle as recommended by the pps-pro method... Well sort of..
A little back story on when this started and became a real problem. About a week and half ago it had pretty much taken over the java moss tree, so I figured I would do a WC and remove it and just call it a loss. After removal it disintegrated and went all over the tank. Two days later, it started growing on everything! I immediately went into panic mode, stopped pps-pro dosing, turn off the lights, and paced around the room a few days.
The plants did really bad, started getting weak, turned translucent, and the stuff still grew. Hell, grew faster! If the stuff is going to keep growing, I might as well have healthy plants with algae, than dead plants with algae. So I kicked the lights back on, started back on the PPS-pro.
Plants started recovering a little, so today I thought well... If the ship is going down, I might as well try doing a huge cleanup effort and water change, and start dosing excel. So here we are. We'll see where it leads.
Lights still on, skipped PPS-pro today, will resume tomorrow (unless anyone else strongly disagrees). Might do another small WC and try to vacuum up what is floating on the substrate after today's massive cleaning.
Wish me luck.