How to remove brown algae
I forgot to do my daily dose of Excel for a while, and brown algae just exploded. I had some grass-like carpet I was trying to grow, and it covered everything above substrate with brown algae that I couldn't wipe off. The roots and bases look fine, and it saddens me to have to remove any of the plants. All of my plants are suffering slowly--It's been a problem I've had for years with this particular tank. I just can't seem to get anything to thrive. Not dwarf sag, cryptocoryne, amazon swords, even my anubias nana petite is looking a little sad.
CO2: No/Low tech
Tank: Fluval Spec V (5 gallons)
Substrate: ADA Aquasoil
Temperature: 78 F
Filtration: Carbon, Sponge
Light: 7500K LED (on for 8 hours)
Water Changes: 50%, weekly
Dosing: Excel (supposed to be daily), Once a week: Thrive (ferts), Stress Coat, Nite-Out II, GH+ Mineralizer
Occupants: Male betta, horned nerite snail, 1 amano shrimp
Features: Heater, 1 Airstone, Pre-filter sponge, Driftwood, Slate rocks
Plants: Cryptocoryne, Amazon Swords, Anubias Nana Petite, Dwarf sag, Bacopa Caroliniana, Dwarf hairgrass
Other: 1 Indian Almond Leaf
Note: I have a good portion of my window blocked off, so sunlight should not be hitting the tank.
The frustrating thing is I have two other nano tanks by this one, a 2.5g and a 3.7g, and the plants always seem to do well. They use the same aquasoil, same dosing (though I don't have to dose the Excel as much for these), and yet it is the 5 gallon in the middle that always gives me the most trouble. If it weren't for the fact that I had a fish living in it, I would tear it down and build a terrarium.
There has to be some underlying cause why the plants never thrive to begin with, because I know their slowly failing health is what is making the algae go crazy. For now, I think if I get back to dosing Excel daily, the algae should die down.
What I want to know is, how do I remove it off smaller pieces of plants like the bacopa and hairgrass? When it was lighter I could just rub it off but now it really seems to be on there. I'm hesitant to just pull out all the plants because I need them to fight the algae (what an ironic circle this is).