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brianinak

Getting close to throwing in the towel, my plan for GHA

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brianinak

Hello all, long time since last posted.  I have been battling GHA for long time and I am about over it!!!!!  It is more than a little bit, has almost taken over.  Always have had ULN, always, Do not think that GHA using up nitrate so not in water column.  

 

My tank is too clean!!!

 

Here is my plan, and perhaps last ditch effort. 

 

Here is my tank stats

 

reefer 170

live sand

dry rock

AI Hydra 26 HD (blues 60% low red and green white 26%)

system 3-4 years old, matured slowly through out

rodi

Apex

apex top off

protein skimmer

carbon reactor, have been running both carbon and GFO until recently.

Dose CA and DKH, BRS 1.1 ml pump on run on apex

 

bio load:

royal gramma

1 chromi, (should get more)  pulling out GHA and has stress out others that did not make it, so hesitant to get more before GHA under control)

LPS and soft coral only

 

CUC:

1 tuxedo urchin

6 astrea

5 narsarius

7 turbo

4 hermits

1 peppermint shrimp (maybe, see him every six months or so, it has been a long time since last spotting)

 

 

SG 1.025

PH 8.0-8.35

DKH 9.6

CA 460

Mg (typically high I don't test anymore

Nitrate 0  Highest has ever been in 3 years has been 3

phosphate 0.02

TEMP: 77.5

WC 2-3 weeks

 

I am sure this is not a high nutrient issue, I have been down that road for a long time.  Still have original flake food I bought 3-4 years ago.

 

Here is my plan, curious what people think

 

1. have been manual removing, hoping if removed would increase nitrates.  I have removed a lot of gha nitrate continue to be 0 and P0 0.02.  This is steady

2. turning off reactor

3.  Skimate always tea color, going to dial back and really just use for oxygenation, not nutrient removal

4.  frozen food for fish and increase reef roid

5. track nitrate and phosphate for 2 weeks

6. continue to remove GHA manually

7. dose Nitrate, bright well

8. have phosphate to dose if necessary (brightwell)

 

GOAL:  nitrate of 5ppm and continued 0.02 and decrease in GHA

Tried to keep post short, hoping people will have feedback.

 

Clown79, I need your help!!!!

 

Thank you!!

 

 

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Saltysheep

I was battle some gha like this too and added vibrant. BIG mistake it further bottomed out my nutrients and lead to cyano which was a long battle to win as well. To beat the cyano I also had to switch from feeding pellets to frozen combined with reef roids. It really helps but make sure it’s consistent use like use the reef every two weeks and the frozen once a day not erratic feedings.  Oh also I stirred the sand bed every week (1/3 of area) and Turkey baster the rock so my filter media could catch the detritus. Good luck! 

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Tired

Don't get more chromis, they'll fight. They only work in giant shoals, or singles. 

 

Can you get any live rock? Really good rock, like ocean rock. That'll introduce biodiversity, which can really help. 

 

Your plan sounds pretty solid. I would aim for at least 10ppm nitrate and maybe 0.05pph phosphate, though. 5 and 0.02 is pretty much bare minimum for most reefs, higher is likely better in this case. You're trying to help non-pest algae win out over the hair algae, and with an established hair algae infestation, it needs all the help it can get.

 

Is your tank acrylic or glass? If glass, consider a tuxedo urchin, they love hair algae. They do move small frags, but they aren't sharp or terribly large. I believe they can scratch acrylic, hence the question about materials. You should probably be adding cleanup crew in general. 

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brianinak

Thanks to both of you

 

Tired: I stared my tank with dry rock have been up and running for 3-4 years.  I like the idea of getting some rock from an established system.  My rock has minimal coralline algae on it.  I am getting more.  My tank is glass and I do have a tuxedo urchin.  This is my second one.  First lived for about 2 years but never really ate algae.  This one does.  

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Tired

Established live rock is good, but ocean rock is the best stuff you can get for biodiversity. Maybe a LFS? If that's not an option, some shells or rubble from a healthy tank would potentially be a bit of a help. More non-pest algae species and spores thereof are good to have as competition for pest algae, and you can get those from any solid surface. Maybe a local reefer would give you some bits and bobs. 

 

Does your current coraline algae, whatever's not being smothered by hair algae, grow at all? That's a good sign for tank maturity. It would be a bit odd for the tank to not be at least mature enough for coraline after several years. 

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Clown79

I would stop any phosphate reducing media first.

 

Definitely dose nitrates. Cleanest way to increase nitrate or reduce waterchange size/frequency.

 

Increasing reef roids did nothing for my nitrate levels but did increase algae.

 

Turn your white light down, 26% is still pretty up there and algae loves white light,  red/green no higher than 4%. 

 

There is peroxide dosing that can help but another better way to deal with it, remove what rock you can, scrub the gha off with a tooth brush and rinse the rock in sw, then return to tank. This removes the bulk of it allowing the cuc to eat the smaller pieces. Most won't eat long pieces.

 

When you pull gha off in the tank, if you don't suck it all out, it will spread. 

 

If your tank is 3yrs old, your rock is pretty established rock at this point. There are numerous things in your tank that could be using up nitrates rapidly. Leading to it bottoming out.

 

I myself have struggled keeping nitrate in my tanks and i removed any nitrate reducing media, all macro gone, feed twice a day(mix between frozen, pellets, flake), tried reef roids twice a day, reduced waterchange frequency and size.

 

Still struggle so i use brightwell nitrate.

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brianinak
20 hours ago, Tired said:

Established live rock is good, but ocean rock is the best stuff you can get for biodiversity. Maybe a LFS? If that's not an option, some shells or rubble from a healthy tank would potentially be a bit of a help. More non-pest algae species and spores thereof are good to have as competition for pest algae, and you can get those from any solid surface. Maybe a local reefer would give you some bits and bobs. 

 

Does your current coraline algae, whatever's not being smothered by hair algae, grow at all? That's a good sign for tank maturity. It would be a bit odd for the tank to not be at least mature enough for coraline after several years. 

There is very little coraline algae.  This tank has been slow from the start.  I am now getting coraline growth on on overflow box.  Very little on rocks, slowly seeing an increase.

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brianinak
4 hours ago, Clown79 said:

I would stop any phosphate reducing media first.

 

Definitely dose nitrates. Cleanest way to increase nitrate or reduce waterchange size/frequency.

 

Increasing reef roids did nothing for my nitrate levels but did increase algae.

 

Turn your white light down, 26% is still pretty up there and algae loves white light,  red/green no higher than 4%. 

 

There is peroxide dosing that can help but another better way to deal with it, remove what rock you can, scrub the gha off with a tooth brush and rinse the rock in sw, then return to tank. This removes the bulk of it allowing the cuc to eat the smaller pieces. Most won't eat long pieces.

 

When you pull gha off in the tank, if you don't suck it all out, it will spread. 

 

If your tank is 3yrs old, your rock is pretty established rock at this point. There are numerous things in your tank that could be using up nitrates rapidly. Leading to it bottoming out.

 

I myself have struggled keeping nitrate in my tanks and i removed any nitrate reducing media, all macro gone, feed twice a day(mix between frozen, pellets, flake), tried reef roids twice a day, reduced waterchange frequency and size.

 

Still struggle so i use brightwell nitrate.

Thanks clown,

 

I have stopped all nitrate and phosphate media, protein skimmer just for oxidation bubbles very low in cylinder, carbon reactor off, zero gfo at this time.

I have been happy to reduce water changes, for past 6 months or so been slacking a bit.  Probably 10% every 3 weeks, could be more consistent with this. 

 I will turn down lights.

I have pulled the rocks I can out to scrub during water changes.  Did not rinse in clean SW though.  I use a syphon and filter sock to pull out algae.  Can't suck it all out but get 90+% of it.  I question how mature my system is.  Everything has happened slow.  

 

Going to keep pully what I can out daily or everyother day and see if nitrates rise,  Has not worked yet.  My over all goal here to reduce gha by better nitrate phosphate ratio.  I hope!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Thanks as always

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mcarroll

Responses are a little out of order... 

 

On 9/24/2020 at 9:57 PM, brianinak said:

My over all goal here to reduce gha by better nitrate phosphate ratio.  I hope!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The overall goal should be to attain control by the action of your cleanup crew.  

 

You being member #1 on the crew, of course. 💪 You do everything the snails can't do...which basically means removing (by hand) any algae that grows to maturity.  Snails can only eat algae nubbins, but they are voracious at it and dedicated to it.  So as long as you have enough snails to keep everything at the nubbins level, you are all set.

 

On 9/23/2020 at 10:38 PM, brianinak said:

CUC:

Scavenger List:

5 narsarius

4 hermits

1 peppermint shrimp (maybe, see him every six months or so, it has been a long time since last spotting)

fixed!

 

On 9/23/2020 at 10:38 PM, brianinak said:

CUC:

1 tuxedo urchin

6 astrea

7 turbo

fixed!

 

How recent are those counts?

 

I would trade 100% of your scavengers (assuming they are still live and kicking) for more Astreas 1 for 1.  More turbos at a 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 rate (turbos get BIG!!!!).

 

On 9/23/2020 at 10:38 PM, brianinak said:

AI Hydra 26 HD (blues 60% low red and green white 26%)

Seems like blues are low and whites are high, relatively speaking....this is known to favor algae growth.

 

On 9/23/2020 at 10:38 PM, brianinak said:

system 3-4 years old, matured slowly through out

rodi

How often do you replace filters?  It's about time now to replace the membrane itself, if you haven't already.  (If you have a lot of chlorine or chloramines in your source water, you might have to replace your membrane sooner.)

 

On 9/23/2020 at 10:38 PM, brianinak said:

1 chromi, (should get more)  pulling out GHA and has stress out others that did not make it, so hesitant to get more before GHA under control)

Most folks end up with only 1 chromi no matter what they try.  I would just leave this alone and be happy the one you have is happy.  👍

 

On 9/23/2020 at 10:38 PM, brianinak said:

PH 8.0-8.35

Is the range shown just testing variation and/or day/night respiration?  Or is it from something you're doing (other than alk dosing) to alter pH?

 

On 9/23/2020 at 10:38 PM, brianinak said:

Nitrate 0  Highest has ever been in 3 years has been 3

phosphate 0.02

As others have stated already, herein lies your main problem.  Phosphate above all else, so far as your corals are concerned.  You'll want to keep it ≥0.10 ppm for the foreseeable future.

 

On 9/23/2020 at 10:38 PM, brianinak said:

Here is my plan, curious what people think

 

1. have been manual removing, hoping if removed would increase nitrates.  I have removed a lot of gha nitrate continue to be 0 and P0 0.02.  This is steady

2. turning off reactor

3.  Skimate always tea color, going to dial back and really just use for oxygenation, not nutrient removal

4.  frozen food for fish and increase reef roid

5. track nitrate and phosphate for 2 weeks

6. continue to remove GHA manually

7. dose Nitrate, bright well

8. have phosphate to dose if necessary (brightwell)

#1.  Hit harder on this and (as mentioned earlier) bring up the # of herbivores on your CUC so the algae doesn't have so much of a chance to grow long like it does now.  Just don't add too many snails or they will starve each other out.  Add just a few at a time to get the best balance.  (That swap for scavengers I suggested earlier is a little different and is an exception to this rule of thumb.  It's possible that no further adjustments would be needed after this swap.)

 

#2.  Good.

 

#3.  Your skimmer is fine.  No changes necessary.  Keep doing what you're doing.

 

#4.  Yes on the fish food, no on the powdered food IMO.

 

#5.  I'd be more on-point with your phosphate testing....maintaining your target PO4 should rank up there with maintaining your target alk as far as your tank is concerned.  👍

 

#6.  Go!  Go!  Go!

 

#7 and #8.  Fine if you have it/budget isn't a big deal.  I'm not sure you have anything urgent going on in terms of the health of the tank that needs the immediacy or precision of dosing though, so I wouldn't consider dosing a requirement....just helpful, and optional.   It's going to be about manual removal and CUC upgrading more than anything else. 

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