Thanks for the quick replies!
Well, from what you're saying it looks like the water change I did last night *enter pats on the back here* was a good idea after scraping off...oh, probably 2/3 of the green algae from the glass. There is still PLENTY all over everything else, so I don't think I obliterated it or anything, just handicapped it a bit. The tank looks so much better just getting the glass clean and getting a bit of new water in there. I need to change out more but I didn't want to do too much at one time, so I just did 10 gallons. I'll try to do another 10 next weekend. I tested this morning and my ammonia is up a bit for some reason (I would have expected the opposite). It's been at 0 ever since I cycled and it is .25 now. Maybe my fish were stressed and had more 'output' overnight.
I got my 4 Mexican Turbos in late October. I have seen 3 of them alive and well in the last 2 hours (1 is now no longer MIA, yay!). I got 3 trochus at the same time and one of them has died. So the Turbos seem to be keeping up, although one of my huge ones keeps falling off the coral and I have to rescue him. I think he may be getting 'weak' in his old age or something.
My nitrates are higher than I'd like (20) so that may be part of the algae issue. But that is pretty much the level I've always had. I don't have RO
water available and I think the nitrates are in the tap water. I think it's still within 'acceptable' range, but I would like to know if there's something to be done about it. I hope I haven't really thrown everything off with my scraping and cleaning.
I tried to control myself but it was hard to stop. I think I'm probably over-feeding a bit, too, so I'm going to back off on that a bit also.
The copepods...that is a good question! I have no idea!! I was wondering the same thing myself. The only thing I can figure is it came in with the snails. I do have some hitchikers on one of my snail shells (I saw an identification somewhere but can't remember what they're called now...bumps with little hairs sticking out that go in and out of their 'bump' on the shell), so I suppose that's the most likely answer. I read they are good, so I guess I'm glad I have them even though I feel like I have an insect infestation now.
They live on the green algae but even though I have hundreds of them, they don't seem to really make a dent. Of course they are probably unhappy with me now, also, since I have attacked the algae. They don't seem to be on the ornaments even though there is plenty of algae there, I only see them on the glass and sometimes flitting around in the water.
I'll try to attach some photos (I've had some photo attaching issues) - the green algae with some copepods (or whatever they are), my tank before the green algae and my tank this morning. So you can see the difference and why I would prefer the 'before' to the 'after' (and the before isn't exactly pristine). If you think my copepods are something else, please let me know!
How do restaurants have 'clean', algae-free tanks that stay healthy? It seems the algae is a good thing, but surely there is a way to have it look attractive AND be healthy?
Sorry for the novel - I tend to get carried away.