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Ok, I have been keeping planted aquariums for a couple of years now and I've never really had a "bad" algae outbreak. I think it was because I've always sterilized my new plants with 5% bleach solutions. Of course, I've had some "brush algae" that I manually removed and fought some "green water algae" and once some fungus on driftwood, but never really had any serious problems. About six weeks ago I took down my three planted tanks due to lack of time and set up one 24x12x12 tank with eco-complete substrate, 4xT5 lights, and fermentation CO2. I planted 99% of the tank with 18 different varieties of plants. Since most of my plants were from other tanks I didn't sterilize them but I also added some other plants from a fellow hobbyist without sterilizing them as well. The result was an enormous bloom of long grey, threadlike hair algae. I manually removed as much as possible and searched online for some help. I came across several threads that recommended more ferts (my nitrate was too low to register), so I did just that. The bloom doubled overnight, so I did several water changes and again removed as much as was possible. Thinking about it, I went over all the details of the setup... I decided that I thought the photoperiod was off. I never had a regular schedule since I wanted to see the tank when I left in the morning and when I came home at night. It amounted to about 14hrs of light per day! I immediately installed a light timer and set up a 4hr on, 2hr off, 4hr on photoperiod (8hrs + siesta period). One week later, there has not been a single noticable thread of alge that wasn't there before. I'll be trimming the remaining algae once the plants regrow some leaves and can be pruned again. I hope this helps anyone out there that has a similar problem and I'm sorry for such a long thread. I'd post a picture but my camera's pictures are too big to post and I don't know how to change that.
 

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This is a little off topic but hopefully helpful nonetheless...to resize pictures (assuming you're running windows) open the image in PAINT. Go to IMAGE in the menu bar, then STRETCH/SKEW, and change both the horizontal and vertical to around 25-30% (size not pixels), then save it as a different file title. That usually sizes them pretty well for me, you can adjust that percentage accordingly if it's too big or small.8)
 
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