Ok took me much longer than I wanted to shape up the tank for a second time. Here it is today:
This tank has been pretty amazing to me since the day Luis set it up. He brought the substrate, wood, and all the plants. He set it up and has never seen it since. I think I can say that the tank has been running completely void of algae (other than very little Cladophora and BBA) from day 1.
Twice since setting up the tank I neglected it to the point of 50% evaporation. Huge mats of hair and staghorn algae covered the surface during those periods. Each time cleaning the tank meant just removing the algae from the surface by simply grabbing the mat. Instantly the tank was sparkling clean and the algae never returned as long as I did a weekly water change (10-20%).
I have only 2 possible ways to explain the "good behaviour" of the tank:
- the Dupla Baccies that Luis added to the substrate maybe a great product
- the tons of cherry shrimp (the only fauna) maybe doing an outstanding job