Advice for cleaning out algae
I have a small 6.6g tank with cherry shrimp and a few java ferns/mosses that is developing algae problems.
All my plants are covered in a thin film of slime algae and the walls of the tank are covered in that hard circular algae that doesn't wipe off. The tank is only about 2 months old and there are only about 20 shrimp (or less? I never seem to see as many as I put in originally), so they apparently can't keep up with eating the stuff. It also apparently loves to grow on my DIY sponge filter.
So my question is, how should I go about cleaning the tank? I'd want to drain the tank down to gravel, remove the plants and animals, and just clean everything but I feel like I'd never be able to catch all the shrimp and I'd end up killing a few off when I stir up the gravel to get the crap out.
Also, the sponge filter is only about 1.5 months old but covered in algae. If I keep using it I know it'll just instantly repopulate the tank with the stuff, yet it seems premature to change it out after such a short amount of time.