09-21-2007, 09:15 PM
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What you have there is Black Brush Algae. I have it in my higher light tanks too. The way I have gotten rid of it (or cut it way back) was to double up on Excel. 1ml/10gal.day, double after a water change. This has to be done religiously, though, because as important as having enough free carbon for the plants is having a consistent level. Course, some fish on't do well with this, so increase the dose slowly.
You can also use excel as a spot treatment on particularly bad outbreaks. Mix 1 part excel with oh, 2 or 3 parts water, suck that up into a syringe (like a baby medicine syringe, not a hypodermic), cut your filter and bubbler and any other water circulation off, then squirt the excel directly onto the problem area. 5 minutes later turn everything back on. Repeat daily. The algae should turn brown, then red, then grey, then flake off and wash away.
As for the holes in the sword plants, swords are big root feeders. Stick a flourish tablet down in the substrate next to the plant. Also, if you can, prune the leaves with the holes. Your new foliage will be better for it.