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General plant problem

Hi everyone !
Just a quick introduction.  My name is Jon Hammond and I'm from Perth,
Western Australia and I'm finishing off my final year in a degree in marine
science and aquarculture.  I'm probably one of the younger ones on this list
(19) but have many questions about planted aquaria.  I only got into the
aquarium thing about a year ago but right from the start have been very
intersted in planted tanks but have had not much luck until now.  I think
its starting to come together my tank after spending many hours reading up
on planted tank resources on the net (the krib etc).

Before I ask any questions I'll jsut give you a quick run down on my tank.
I apologise if this is a very boring email and I ask questions raised
before.. jsut let me know.

Basically I have a 3ft tank (14x18") with an Eheim canister, 2 x 30w
phillips aquarelle globes, 300W heater.  The substrate is laterite based
(bottom 1/3 laterite with gravel and top 2/3 just grave), and I add seachem
flourisha nd flourish iron. I haven't quite got the hang of identifying and
naming all plants yet but from what I know I have 2 anubias, 2 large amazon
swords, some clumps of verigated hygro (i think), some ambulia (i think
thats the name), and some other clumps of stemmy plants (i think ludwigia or
normal hyrgro and this other one with cute little roundish leaves).  My fish
include, 2 otto's, 3 large siamese flying foxes, 2 bristle nose catfish, 9
neons, 5 rummy nose tetras, 5 scissortails, 1 dwarf gourami.

Ok questions.. :o)

Some of my plants the ambulia and normal hygro ( i think its hygro) have the
growing tips turning a pinkish brown. I tried rubbing the leaves of the
hygro to see weather it was algae but it wont rub off.  Is this indeed a
sort of algae or is it a sign that my tank is defficient of some nutrient ??

Also just a side not on my experience with algae.  I don't seem to get it
growing in my tanks except for the green stuff on the glass and on my amazon
sword the leaves look darkish green / brown.. I assume this slimy brown
layer is diatoms algae.  Any for any of you out there wanting to get rid of
this use Otto catfish... I have two in my tank (after reading Karen Randalls
recommendation) and they mow through the stuff.  I have never experienced a
problem with hair algae or any other sorts... this is what siamese flying
foxes eat right ?? Maybe mine eat it all and keep it in check or I dont have
a problem.  I always see my foxes nibling everything but do they actually
get any of the other algae off ?? Also to the dismay of many of you siamese
flying foxes are as common as neons over here in Perth and you can get them
for $1 each :o)))

Ok thanks for reading this first email of mine and I'm sure there will be a
lot more to come as I learn more and more off you guys :o))

Jon Hammond
Perth, Western Australia :o)))