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Cultivated Reef

Another Cycling Question


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I started my tank around 2 weeks ago and the live rock I have in it is starting to get some green algae growing. On my other tank I had a diatom bloom around this time, and if I remember correctly it was before any other algae growth. Is this normal? Or should I try to put a raw shrimp in the tank to kick start it?


Thanks for any advise.





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I'm curious about your rock work. Is most of that rock dead with what looks like the pieces on the right being cured rock?


If that rock is cured and the remaining rock was placed in the tank dead, then your cycle may already be over. Have you tested the parameters?

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people will recommend many ways of preventing it, using a flame jet lighter is how I like to deal with the growth.


physical removal of algae by scrubbing and tool removal will leave fragments in the rock and distributed around the tank as possible reseeds.


some use chemical and heat methods to really kill algae. that prevents fragmentation from a given crop but is trickier to apply.


the best way is to keep the tank pristinely free of detritus and keep up water changes strongly or heavy skimming.

When you see a sprig of algae, drain the tank down to that level and shoot it with a pulse of blue flame. The fill tank back up. this is 100% algae control


for large areas like above do the rinse and scrub. when it comes back tiny do the zap and you will never have a reef crashed by algae.

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The type of algae and when it grows can vary quite a bit for each new tank. It's not an indicator of cycle progress.


You can either leave it or scrub it off.

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also many people recover naturally from it with out ever removing it but for me not worth the risk. your tank does not look over nutrified, with the crevices loaded with gunk its a clean reef I think your algae was more a matter of importation, it was already primed for that spot when you bought it it seems, the rest of the rock looks clean and nice.

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im with pyro, how/what did you use setting up this tank. live sand/dry sand live rock /dry-dead rock ,

so you have another setup... did you use some of the rock/sand/ water with setting up your new tank hard to know going off you two pics.

maybe you got lucky and skipped the diatom bloom maybe because you had little nutrients for it or low silicates good for you

your cycle might be over -hard to tell little info

if you do opt for the raw shrimp- i suggest you throw it in a shot glass because if there is anything alive in your rocks it will be bristle worms we dont want to feed em enough to start makin babies

imo theyre not bad just oogly therefore they need some sort of population control


green hair algae i wouldn't worry so much about, so long as you do your water changes to keep your nitrates in check i know about scrubbing rocks it sux but its not dealing with the real problem youll be like that guy Sisyphus and his boulder... assuming your water is rodi,you have a skimmer or have a means for nutrient export- if you have trouble with it going away- turbo snails, the little green hermits (not the bright red ones they're cool and do their part but they're lazy) or emerald crabs will take care of your problem try and get females maybe even get a hold of some cheato- let me know if you have a hard time with this-


but one thing you can do while you wait for your cycle to finish Turn Off Your Lights! it will keep your unwanted nasties green hair algea and diatoms from exploding and it will keep you from cleaning the green film algea off you display glass.

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I'm curious about your rock work. Is most of that rock dead with what looks like the pieces on the right being cured rock?


If that rock is cured and the remaining rock was placed in the tank dead, then your cycle may already be over. Have you tested the parameters?



Most of it is dead. I plan on testing it tomorrow. Would it help if I put some of the rock out of my older tank in this one? This tank has live sand, dead rock, and some live rock. Algae is only on the live rock.

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Vann, don't worry about a shrimp.


When we talk about "cycling" a tank, we're simply referring to the establishment of the bacteria-driven nitrogen cycle. If you don't have an in-depth understanding of the nitrogen cycle I would strongly recommend reading up on it. If you used any amount of cured live rock, then the cycle is pretty much instantly established. That is, your tank contains most or all of the bacteria necessary to break down and convert waste.


The problem is that your tank is still new, but as you add livestock the # of bacteria will increase. Really the algae is of little consequence to your tank at this point. You could turn off your light, or scrub the rocks, or whatever and it will be effective to a degree in keeping your algae down. But if you do that then what will your CUC eat?


Adding a shrimp will just create excess nutrients and possibly encourage the algae to grow.


If I were you I would test my water. If there is 0 ammonia and nitrite, then I would add 2-4 herbivorous snails. Wait a week, and then add a handful more, and so on... Each week add more of your CUC, being sure to test your water before making any additions. After a few weeks of doing this the number of bacteria built up in your tank will most likely be sufficient to start stocking fish. Finally, make sure you have plenty of flow in your tank. This will encourage your base rock to become colonized quickly. You could also add some live rock from your established tank to move this one along as well.


Good luck.

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Yes, rock from your older tank would help.


However, the only thing that matters (which I'm surprised no one has asked, yet) is your params.. care to list them and their progression?

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Test results:


PH = 8

Alklenity = 180

Nitrite = 0

Nitrate = 0

Ammonia = 0

Salt = 1.022

Temp = 75*


The algae is starting to spread to the glass. Im thinking of getting a clean up crew tomorrow. Is this a good time to do a water change and add my chemipure and purigen? I have been growing some chaeto in my other tank. Can some of it be added?



Thanks for the help

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post us update pics on the algae spread this will be a helpful thread to track for a current project...



Ill try to get some pics tonight. Looks like little strands of the algae is coming loose from the rock and attaching to the glass. Its only on my glass tho. None on my "dead" rock.

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