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typical algae blooms


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I know there are algae blooms to be expected with a maturing tank, but I was wondering what types/order to expect them in. I've already had diatoms, then some coralline has been growing everywhere lately and now I'm starting to see a lot of green algae as well as hair algae. What else should I be expecting as far as algae blooms go? Tank has been set up for a little over 2 months if that helps any.

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A lot depends on the quality of water you use during water changes (Tap vs. Distilled), type of livestock, lighting, feeding, and even how much flow is in the tank.

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i just posted this response elsewhere. my tank has been set up for two months too. i *never* saw any blooms past the diatom stage. i owe this to 20% water changes every few days for a coupla weeks, to rid the water column from excess post cycle nitrifying bacteria.



controlling algae in tanks consists of removing excess nutrients (20% wc every few days), running carbon in your filter to remove DOM and (long term) setting up a fuge with macro to compete with micro algae and the clean up crew for additional help.


this will all be moot, however, if using water that contains phosphates, as city water sometimes will. that is why it's suggested time and again to use ro/di water for changes and top offs.


lots contribute to algae blooms:


nitrates-lower by regular partial water changes. water changes should be performed more frequently with large fish bio loads, less frequently with just invertebrates.


phosphates-again use a good ro/di or make sure your alternative source water has none. also make sure your salt mix is phosphate free.


aging lamps-as lamps age their intensity diminishes and color spectrum shifts. change them out at suggested periods.


water movement-provide lots of water movement for gas exchange (and run an open top tank). lack of sufficient movement will allow build up of carbon dioxide, another fuel for algae.


overfeeding- the decay of the food that is not consumed produces nitrates and phosphates



there's lots of debate on running carbon to remove DOM. carbon removes these through adsorption and should be changed out periodically. i change out carbon every 2-3 weeks in all my tanks.


protein skimmers are more efficient at removing DOM and using one is a personal choice.


removing problem algae-algae on the glass should be removed by using some kind of pad, swiping it across the glass and cleaning the pad after each swipe with a dunk in a large water filled container. this prevents filaments from reentering the tank. hair algae from other surfaces should be removed by hand. each clump removed should be put in a water filled container and hand rinsed for the same reason. i use the water siphoned off for my water change. I have controlled cyano by siphoning it off (using a ½ in. hose) during water changes. It really is a loose mat and comes off quite easily. Also increase water movement to the affected area. Bubble algae should be removed by hand, avoiding breaking the bubbles, this will release spores causing more bubbles.


i know this is long, but are tried-and-true methods by myself and others.



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Chromey ..once you get hair algea meaning your tank is stable and nitrate starting to build up , at this time you notice that some coralline algea is dieing off due to alot of nutrient .start making alot of WC . once the hair algea is gone then coralline will kick back in and maybe some macro algea will pop out of the live rock .by that time your tank will look nice and clean .

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Yeah I'm using RO/DI water since I started the tank. It's a 20gal with mostly a cleanup crew and then a serpent star and a yellow tail damsel and a percula (which was eaten alive by the freakin serpent star today). As far as water flow goes, I only have a single penguin 550 powerhead mounted at the very top of the tank. Water changes have been pretty constant and I'm noticing the diatoms going away for the most part and a bigger bloom of coralline. The main reason behind the hair algae is that a piece of the live rock I purchased had hair algae on it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a piece of live rock with hair algae on it too. But it also had lime green zoos so I couldn't resist. My nitrites are zero, phosphates are zero and I have a clean up crew so I figure that it will basically starve to death.

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