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Jon Wilson wrote:
>So now I have a large tank full of algae and two clown plecos, nitrates
>at 40 ppm and phosphates at 5 ppm. I want to start over, but I'm afraid
>the algae is so firmly entrenched into the system that I may not be able
>to get plants going again. I would rather not try to bleach the tank,
>but I don't know of any other ways to kill all of the algae. Most of the
>algae is green and on the back glass. There are a couple small patches
>of blue-green in the substrate next to the glass. There is also a bit of
>brown (diatom?) here and there.
>I thought about doing a huge water change and just leaving it sit as is,
>with lights, and wait until the algae consumes all the nutrients and
>finally dies. Has this actually worked for anyone?

I was able to succeed using a modified version of this approach.  Along
with letting the algae consume the phosphates and nitrates I used RO water
for 10% water changes weekly.  I still had tetras and rasboras in the tank
and did not want to make huge changes to reduce the nitrate and phosphate
levels.  I modified the RO water to proper Ca/Mg/Alkalinity using PMDD.  I
calculated the proper dosage levels with the water in storage using Hach
test kits.  That way I did not have to deal with changing the conditions in
the tank.

However, my phosphates were never as high as 5ppm, which sounds incredibly
high to me.

Over the past 20 years, I have kept many different kinds of fish.  My
favorite fish for a planted aquarium is the Rasbora.  Don't let their
colors in the fish store fool you.  Once they get settled into a tank, they
take on a beautiful orange irridence, which gives a planted tank a
character which is unique.  They are active fish which are quite hardy
(they can live for greater than 4 years if not stressed).

Augustine Rodriguez
Elk Mound, WI, USA