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RE: [APD] Rift Tank Algae Establishment

Hi Jerry

As someone that lives in Africa and has had the pleasure of diving many of the great lakes on this continent, let me tell you what I have noticed.

The algae on the rocks and wood in these lakes is very different from the algae the tanks get. The algae there is slow growing and hard! It is almost granular and impossible to wipe off. It has more of like a mossy consistency! Very cool! 

I have tried a similar experiment to yours.  You can't treat that kind of tank as the usual planted variety. I actually simulated the light from that part of the world. The water is quite dark and the algae there not that exposed to light. So very intense lighting as you suggest is not the way to go. Lower light with lots of dark rocks and driftwood. The algae must not be immediately apparent on the rocks.  Over time it will layer and begin to look nice. In the beginning you have to clean the areas where you don't want the algae a lot. Over time the algae kind of grows where it is wanted more. Weird but it does.

Patience is the key and you will be rewarded with a nice natural looking biotope. 

Good luck

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