Thanks a bunch guys. I've considered putting up a thread in the DIY forum explaining how I did it, but I just followed a DIY page on another site, so I felt like that would be copying. I guess as long as I give credit to where the info came from, it would be OK!
I let the tank cycle for a couple of months with some neon tetras. Since then, I've really stayed on top of water changes, I'm trying to keep my nitrates under 5 ppm. However, despite my really low nitrates, I keep having to battle red algae... it will start to grow like crazy and I'll have to scrub it all off :(. My other FW tank stays around 10-20ppm nitrates, and there's hardly any algae in it! Doesn't make sense
. Is it possible that large, frequent water changes might have something to do with it? I currently do about 50% change every weekend, and swish the filter media around in the water I just removed to reduce gunk build-up.
Part of me thinks it has something to do with the background, since my other tank doesn't have it, but I did a decent amount of research before starting to make sure I wasn't putting something dangerous in my tank, and saw no mention anywhere of it feeding algae growth... Oh well, I'll just keep scrubbing when it gets bad.