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RE: The endless algae battle

DONT use the UV sterilizer lights in the fixtures unless you want to go blind.  The UV is very bad for your eyes (remember, it is strong enough to sterilize.)  If you have to have a sterilizer, then you must build one that exposes the water to the light, but NOT your eyes.  I really recommend buying one rather than building one, as your eyes are a requirement for enjoying this hobby  :-)

I have also had algae problems, and there are a couple of things to try.  First, measure your incoming water parameters, as well as your tank parameters.  If there are nitrates and phosphates in the incoming water, you will tend to have problems.  You can figure out if your water is encouraging algae by treating a tankful of fresh water the way you normally would for a water change, and then innoculate it with a small dose of tank water, and see if you get the algae build up.  If you do, then your incoming water contains enough nutrients to cause problems, and you probably want to consider using something to adsorb some of the nutrients (eg Phoszorb and perhaps an amonia absorber as well), or use an R/O system.  Otherwise, the nutrients are coming from feeding.  Try reducing illumination period, say to 6-8 hours a day, feed less (once a day), and do lots of fairly large water changes, say 75% once a week.  Then, plant various plants to soak up nutrients.  Get them growing ni!
cely, and hopefully you will be fine once they grow nicely going back to your regular feeding/illumination schedule.  

The site http://thekrib.com has lots of information on algae solutions.


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