I think I should get paid for the tank I keep, or at least have it declared a "national resource of significant scientific interest"
. Why? Because I grow every kind of algae known to aquarists in this tank of mine in some quantity.
All is good, however. We are only talking a few strands/clumps/spots here and there. Last Saturday, however, I blew it.
I'm not very good at this hobby. I only started a few months ago. Luckily, however, I'm eager and willing to learn. And, by-and-large, there is a lot of good information on the net that is helpful to newbies like me. But it gets quite confusing at times.
One of the most talked about strategies of controlling algae is that which promotes the PMDD routine. It made sense to me, and I decided to start mimicking the experts. Over a period of a week, I eliminated excess phosphates (dosed with Alum), and raised NO3 and K levels to 5-10 ppm and 10-20 ppm respectively. Then I read that, at these macro nutrient levels, dosing 2-3 times the recommended Flourish amount should be safe (and desired). So last Saturday, after a 25% water change, I dosed the NO3, K, and one drop of Sodium Phosphate (Fleet Enema) in the change water, together with a whopping 5 mL of Flourish (the entire weekly recommended dose). Within hours, I had green beard algae spreading like fire in a dry forest. I had other kinds of algae growing too, but green beard algae was dominant. It has been slowly overtaking my tank ever since. The cleanup crew of 5 Otos and 3 SAE cannot keep up (also also have 1 glass shrimp and 3 platys, all of which are algae eaters).
So was it the iron, or was it the phosphate?
I have read several reports on the internet of people experiencing similar blooms of green beard algae due to an overdose of iron (as in Flourish)! Any similar experiences?