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Re: [APD] Hair algae (and others, maintenance that works for me).
With all the algae talk thought I'd mention one thing I do now for general anti-algae protection (and just general good maintenance) as it seems to keep away the occasional bout I used to get. A twice yearly full prune and gravel vacuum.
- Remove all plants and place into a bucket with water to keep them wet.
- Remove any driftwood, decorations etc (or move then all to one side if you want to keep some hiding spots for shy fishies).
- Take plants from the bucket and prune them all (do this while all the dirt you stirred up in the tank while removing the plants settles back down) and put them back in the bucket when done.
- Take a gravel cleaner siphon (best invention since sliced bread) and DEEP clean the gravel. Really dig it down until the gravel you're doing comes clear. I've got deep gravel so I'm not getting to the bottom but I am getting lots of stuff out.
- Keep moving to get all the gravel (move decorations to the 'done' part of the gravel if you kept them in the tank) and go until you're done. This usually makes a 50%+ water change for me by default.
- Once done replace the decorations and replant. Then refill the tank.
I find the plants really seem to like this even if you don't have any substrate problems (dead roots etc). If you have current algae problems you can of course add in plant disinfecting etc. I don't personally do the filter (canister) cleaning at the same time just to keep some old biomass there.
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