Well, I traded in my algae dominant tank for one that resembles a reef The rocks were totally covered in a brown smelly algae for the first few months of reefing. I have been reefing for a little over a year now. It took ALOT of hand picking of the algae to keep the corals alive. The process of ridding of the algae took several stages.
hand weed the nasties
changing carbon often
cuc, which helped but not as much as needed
added a lawnmower blenny and a kole tang
used chemi pure for awhile
added purigen too, lol
reduced feeding and had to learn to give smaller meals
got a ro/di
added alot more flow(random) with a second powerhead when I could afford it
placed a ton of rocks in the refugium instead of adding more sand
I have some dark cryptic areas in the fuge as well
added a 70hps light over the fuge as I read that someone got the best algae growth with that color of light, about 2600k I think
Now I pull out handfulls of frothy green clumps of algae every week, not sure what it is
almost killed my chaeto at first, it disolved into a wad the size of a quarter,lol with the new light it has grown by large amounts, a couple of handfulls now
So now I have a tank that I can show the whole thing! instead of just a frag or small area that didnt have all the nasty algae. All of a sudden one day the tank was clear of almost all the algae. I did notice it thinning a bit but then BAM!