If its a small enough tank you can simply put your little one in the hospital tank then treat the tank itself using the algae killers in just a few days. They're "technically" safe for your fish, but since you have to take the plants out anyway, best to take fish too.
If its a really small tank you can put the little one in the hospital tank and directly treat with some isopropyl and toothbrush, then rinse and then treat with vinegar. Give it a good rinse after. In most cases, especially lower end aquariums and plastic aquariums, there are surfaces that will retain the algae within micro scratches and fractures.
You CAN go to a low light solution for many many days and put aluminum foil around the growth area and all those things and it does usually work, but sometimes it doesn't work and the algae simply grows in other locations.
From your little one's point of view the reason they're distressed is probably because that was their narcism toy, a good external light and clean surface for reflection. So in this case a little $3.00 mirror someplace else around the tank AND covering up the area to starve the algae is probably the best holistic answer.
.iirc, OFL I'm sure knows an article, controlling algae is easiest done by having some specific plants and controlling your water quality more accurately. Snails do help, I've got some that keep even my 37 inch ten gallon nice and clean, but they reproduce like mad and litter the bottom with sequestered shells... or tempt your boy to go hunting.
Since we're starting from algae growth already on the reflecting wall go ahead and cover it up then proceed with the solution you prefer.
Last edited by Thunderloon; 08-22-2011 at 09:49 PM.
Reason: note: 37 inches in a 10 gallon... with 560gph filtration its a mad house.