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12 gallon not aio tank- algae plus oil slick removal


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I have two clownfish and a few pieces of birdsnest in this well-cycled tank that receives a weekly water change. There are two things I am not 100% happy with. One I'd like to reduce algae levels further in the tank. Two, even with only feeding the clownfish for a minute or two a day I still get a bit of an 'oil slick' at the surface. So balance-wise the tank is in fine shape but are there any steps I can take equipment-wise to reduce algae/ slick for aesthetic reasons without ruining the aesthetics of the tank by placing a monstrous piece of equipment into it?

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It probably would be best or better to allow a surface skim of some type, mine is sumped so its sorted pretty much automatically.


As for algae, theres a multitude of things to take into account, my simple fix was to overskim - well a Skimz SM163 in a 120 ltr is classed as that :) also I use a reactor, a tiny one, just to tumble 100 ml of rowaphos or phosphate granules pending on where you are.


I have 4 fish in it now, 2 clowns, and a six line wrasse and carpenters wrasse, no algae at all, and i'm adding another 2 wrasse in a couple of weeks, BUT I have a slight slick looking surface, but my led's do this in their light, 1200 ltr/h gets surface skimmed so it definitely is not a slick so to speak, I have very well cured live rock, and very fine bahamas Oolite sand, and a low / medium flow.


For algae in summing up, decent skimmer and surface skim, and phosphate remover of some description.


Cheers, Lee

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Your tank looks beautiful :D Hmm, sounds like the first step is a surface skimmer. The good news is that my tank has ATO, which I hear helps greatly in getting a skimmer to work well with a nano tank. Given a consistent water level, anyone have recommendations on a compact skimmer?


Ahhh, if only I had planned for a sump in advance!

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Drag a clean paper towel across the surface to pull that slick out. It is probably a protein slick...do you have any surface agitation going?

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Can you aim your powerhead towards the slick to break it up? Algae is part of establishing a tank I have had one set up for nearly 5 years and no algae now but it took a couple of years to go through all the stages to get rid the green and red stuff. No I have to take it down one of the seams seems to be letting lose towards the top. I love that tank I hate to have to take it down.

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The paper towel idea worked well for a temporary fix. Yuck!


Yes, I get good surface agitation. Currently using a WP-10 at approximately 80x flow to soothe my SPS. Funny thing is that my two fairly small clownfish seem fine with this flow.

Interesting to hear how long it can take to cycle algae out of a tank. Even now it seems to come in little bursts. I can't track it to any actions or changes though.

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My tank was setup end of January time, so relatively young so to speak.


I originally had an algae scrubber on the sump, but to be honest and my view, they didn't seem "concrete" enough for me to strip the phos and nitrates, seemed to have good and bad weeks with it, I couldn't hack that in the end, so it went. Placed a small reactor in on a 150ltr/h eheim hobby jobby pump, well its 150-600 I turned it to min. This also runs my UV in / above my sump.


Yes, point the powerhead ect at the surface, only just short of the flow breaking the surface and splashing everywhere.


Let me see if i can grab a quickie piccie of the sump .......

If it works, my sump :)




... Also, Eheim i know do a little surface skimmer pump, its all housed in one little unit, skims off the top drawing it through a tiny pump below it ......




Im not sure if they do varied sizes tho :)

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Sorry can't help with compact skimmers, only do Mahoosive LOL :)


No, joking aside, i'm not to sure, I did have a Bubble Magus C3.5 on it, this new ones just cycled and literally a few days old, Again my view, I didn't like the constant messing with the BM, or the fact it didn't pull its quoted air, I linked it to an eheim 400ltr/h airpump in the end, and it wasnt bad then, but me being me, couldn't hack what was supposed to be and then me bodging it to do it, so it went, my new ones running about 8-900 ltr/h on the air now, and dead silent. Its a DC pump thats controllable, so I have it mid way, and the air maxxed.

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That protein on the surface will be consumed by microbes, once the microbes are built up. If you let the system stabilize, and don't flip or scrub the rocks, there should be enough microbes from the periphyton on the rocks to consume the oil slick.

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