Ready to surrender to hair algae
Hopefully this post won't be too long. My 55g has been up for about 6 months and it has been mostly successful. I planned this as a "low tech" tank, with 2x55w PCs from AH Supply, weekly capfuls of Flourish, and daily capfuls of Excel. I don't have too many demanding plants: water sprite, water wisteria, java fern, anubias, java moss, red ludwigia, and rotala indica. The water sprite and wisteria grew so fast that I was trimming every week.
I had a battle of hair algae a few months ago when my Excel ran out and I failed to buy more. I repeatedly removed it by hand and resumed Excel dosing. I beat it in a couple weeks. I had to pull out a lot of wisteria and water sprite, but it grew so fast that the clippings attached to the hair algae were nothing more than a good prune.
Before Christmas, my wisteria slowly started nosediving until it was no more. I bought some more, but it hasn't really done much. My water sprite was still doing relatively well, and I had finally gotten it to grow around the plants the way I wanted, so things were good. Sometime in late January, I noticed I was getting more hair algae. I continued to dose Excel (when I wasn't traveling) and I pulled some out when I could.
Tonight was the last straw for my water sprite, however. I had to travel for the past 6 days and when I returned, the tank was it was a green, cottony mess. I attempted to siphon out what I could, but my Python doesn't have near the suction necessary, so I started pulling it out manually. It had completely engulfed my water sprite, entangled most of my moss, and created a small cloud over my rotala. I still have a fair amount of the stuff in my tank, but I'm unsure if I want to completely decimate my remaining plants by pulling it out.
I know diligence is part of it, but I'm just not here to care for the tank as much as I'd like. Weekly 20% water changes and my simple ferts apparently aren't enough anymore. I picked easy, fast growing plants so they could out compete the algae for nutrients, but that seems to be failing. My fiancee really doesn't want me to take the tank down, as she still likes it (and wants to keep our 5" angel who owns the tank). Any ideas for getting back at this stuff?