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bones6966

Experience with Vibrant.

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bones6966

So I'm having a *little* issue with algae..... Well a bit more than a little. Green hair algae, some red turf algae, and I think I see some red bubble algae starting on a rock. 
My phosphates are consistent, in that they are consistently shooting up with no regard to what I want. I run GFO constantly and if I let it go for a day or two we are at almost 1PPM. 

I should day I do not own a reactor, but I'm using a small hang on back filter that has been modified to work as one. 

So in a last ditch effort before I decide to tear it down and stat over with fresh rock and sand, that hopefully don't make me hate my life.

I have started dosing Vibrant. I don't expect this to fix the phosphates but hopefully this buys me some time. I'm hoping what ever is leaching phosphates runs out soon. 

 

So to tie this all up I wanted to ask the hivemind about your own personal experience with Vibrant.

How well did it work?

How were your phosphates?

Tips? 

 

Thanks guys/gals!

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rough eye

how long have you had an algae issue? with phosphates over .2 my algae has receded to nearly nothing, so i would say phosphates are not the issue. i've never used vibrant or GFO, or anything really except some carbon and filter floss.

 

who knows, maybe my phosphates will go down in a year or 2. do you really want the health of your tank to be tied to vibrant and GFO for that long?

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bones6966
22 hours ago, rough eye said:

how long have you had an algae issue? with phosphates over .2 my algae has receded to nearly nothing, so i would say phosphates are not the issue. I've never used vibrant or GFO, or anything really except some carbon and filter floss.

 

who knows, maybe my phosphates will go down in a year or 2. do you really want the health of your tank to be tied to vibrant and GFO for that long?

My phosphates jump to 1.0 within a few days, I was advised that this is not good for the fish/coral and would contribute to the level of algae I am currently dealing with. That's why I run the GFO, the algae has been a constant part since my first live rock AFAIK. I cant just let the algae smother the tank, manual removal only goes so far and my Mollies cant eat that much. I see no other options at this point than to try a chemical/bacterial additive.

 

So we shall try Vibrant.

I don't think I will need to use it for ever, but at least I can get the algae  under control and get my tank back. 

 

On 10/3/2021 at 4:57 PM, Murphych said:

Thank you fantastic read, very insightful. 

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rough eye
13 minutes ago, bones6966 said:

My phosphates jump to 1.0 within a few days, I was advised that this is not good for the fish/coral and would contribute to the level of algae I am currently dealing with. That's why I run the GFO, the algae has been a constant part since my first live rock AFAIK. I cant just let the algae smother the tank, manual removal only goes so far and my Mollies cant eat that much. I see no other options at this point than to try a chemical/bacterial additive.

 

So we shall try Vibrant.

I don't think I will need to use it for ever, but at least I can get the algae  under control and get my tank back. 

i looked back at the thread where you started your tank. Cycled around the beginning of August? You and I have taken very different paths; I still have only 2 fish in my 13.5 gallon tank. Just now adding more corals in the past couple months when the algae cleared up by itself, and the tank is 10 months old.  If i had to guess I would say feeding the large number of fish you have is what's contributing to both the phosphate issue and the algae.

 

I think the moral is, let the ugly stages be ugly, if you artificially try to stop them you might just have an ugly stage that still needs to happen before your tank matures. How about trying 20% (6 gallon) water changes twice a week for a month first? Is the algae holding tightly onto the rock or easy to pull? you can siphon out bunches of algae with each water change.

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bones6966
21 hours ago, rough eye said:

i looked back at the thread where you started your tank. Cycled around the beginning of August? You and I have taken very different paths; I still have only 2 fish in my 13.5 gallon tank. Just now adding more corals in the past couple months when the algae cleared up by itself, and the tank is 10 months old.  If i had to guess I would say feeding the large number of fish you have is what's contributing to both the phosphate issue and the algae.

 

I think the moral is, let the ugly stages be ugly, if you artificially try to stop them you might just have an ugly stage that still needs to happen before your tank matures. How about trying 20% (6 gallon) water changes twice a week for a month first? Is the algae holding tightly onto the rock or easy to pull? you can siphon out bunches of algae with each water change.

Thanks for sharing, I try to feed only what the fish will eat, and held off food for a day and phosphates still went up,

The fish load is quite a bit lower now as well after giving away all male mollies as well as male guppies. 
I have 3 fully grown mollies and 4 guppies, as well as a few babies. But I totally get what you are saying.

 

I have been a bit more aggressive with my water changes as of late as well. 5 gal 2x a week, or 10 gal once a week. 

 

You said "let the ugly stages be ugly" and I'm not apposed to it, but I think I'm attributing the algae to the phosphates. I was advised the phosphates are an issue for the fish so I feel like I should try and manage the algae before the tank becomes a mess and never goes back to looking "normal".

 

Maybe I'm stressing my self out when I should not. Should I just manage phosphates like I was and let the algae do its thing? I am worried the algae will never go away if I do not treat for it, and slowly take over everything or hurt my coral.  Or maybe I should re home the coral and wait till I get the rest of the tank under control...? 

Idk I'm not ever sure how to proceed now lol I just want my tanks residents to be happy and healthy and feel like I'm not really doing them any justice at the moment, 

 

21 hours ago, rough eye said:

Is the algae holding tightly onto the rock or easy to pull? you can siphon out bunches of algae with each water change.

It is on tight, and only algae I can siphon is the stuff on the substrate. It is not super long due to mollies and there deep desire to be a lawnmower. But everything is still covered. 

 

Thanks for the input by the way. I'm getting kind of down with this all and I'm not used to not being able to fix stuff. lol 

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Clown79

I've never heard of phosphates being hard on fish and don't really know how it would be.

 

I had phosphates up to 0.37 and had very little algae, normal levels of algae which a tank should have present.

 

No algae aka sterile tanks, is not optimal.

 

What one considers an explosion of algae, may not be a lot at all.

 

Without a picture of the tank, its hard to determine what actions need to be taken because  todays problems fix could be tomorrows major problems. 

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rough eye
12 minutes ago, bones6966 said:

Maybe I'm stressing my self out when I should not. Should I just manage phosphates like I was and let the algae do its thing? I am worried the algae will never go away if I do not treat for it, and slowly take over everything or hurt my coral.  Or maybe I should re home the coral and wait till I get the rest of the tank under control...? 

i think maybe you're stressing when you shouldn't. but i do believe you might want to lighten the bio load a little. maybe get it down to 5 or 6 fish total, at least for now.

 

algae is a plant (obviously), and when you buy plant fertilizer it has numbers on it like "10 10 10," which means it contains equal parts each of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. these are considered to be the main 3 components of what plants need to live, but it's really an oversimplification. it would be like saying we humans could eat foods that have only fat, protein and sugar. feeding the fish less or avoiding uneaten food isn't the answer; fish, like humans, are fertilizer factories. their poop and ours is rich with all the things plants need to thrive. oh and the mollies eat the algae, but guess what - when they poop it's putting more of that rich manure back into the system.

 

if the algae is holding on strong that's a sign it's getting everything it needs to be healthy, but that will change. nothing is forever and the tank is still so young. a year from now you'll look back on this and wonder. one thing i did do for a period was change filter floss daily. i don't know if that would be very easy to do with a canister filter. and just remember, you're likely to have other ugly phases after this one so be patient and don't do anything that will lead to something nastier like dinos.

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Clown79
2 minutes ago, rough eye said:

i think maybe you're stressing when you shouldn't. but i do believe you might want to lighten the bio load a little. maybe get it down to 5 or 6 fish total, at least for now.

 

algae is a plant (obviously), and when you buy plant fertilizer it has numbers on it like "10 10 10," which means it contains equal parts each of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. these are considered to be the main 3 components of what plants need to live, but it's really an oversimplification. it would be like saying we humans could eat foods that have only fat, protein and sugar. feeding the fish less or avoiding uneaten food isn't the answer; fish, like humans, are fertilizer factories. their poop and ours is rich with all the things plants need to thrive. oh and the mollies eat the algae, but guess what - when they poop it's putting more of that rich manure back into the system.

 

if the algae is holding on strong that's a sign it's getting everything it needs to be healthy, but that will change. nothing is forever and the tank is still so young. a year from now you'll look back on this and wonder. one thing i did do for a period was change filter floss daily. i don't know if that would be very easy to do with a canister filter. and just remember, you're likely to have other ugly phases after this one so be patient and don't do anything that will lead to something nastier like dinos.

What size tank are we discussing and how much live stock?

 

What is the water source?

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rough eye
23 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

What size tank are we discussing and how much live stock?

 

What is the water source?

mine or his? mine is 13.5 and only 2 fish. bones' tank is 29gal and reading his other conversation it had upwards of 15 fish?

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bones6966
52 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

What size tank are we discussing and how much live stock?

 

What is the water source?

Mine is 30 gal, fish are a few mollies, pear of clowns and a few guppies. and a few coral + CC. 
water source is RODI water bought in store in 5 gal jugs. 

 

I thought the phosphates would be hard on the coral not fish*

The following picture is taken a moment ago. (sand bed was all green but I sucked a bunch up trying to clean out the algae. )
There isn't really a surface not covered in algae.
I have green hair algae, red turf algae and some red bubble algae starting. 

Edit: Just turned the lights on for the photo that's why all the coral are closed up. lol

 

55 minutes ago, rough eye said:

i think maybe you're stressing when you shouldn't. but i do believe you might want to lighten the bio load a little. maybe get it down to 5 or 6 fish total, at least for now.

Maybe, I might just try and wait it out. Its just killing me seeing it like this. Ill also try to reduce the numbers of mollies. pair of guppies and clowns are a pretty light bio load but mollies can be pigs if you feed them a lot + grazing. 
Also might need to start changing filter floss more regularly. so far I have been doing it biweekly, and nitrates have been rather fine with all the water changes I do. 

20211005_193902.jpg

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Clown79
2 minutes ago, bones6966 said:

Mine is 30 gal, fish are a few mollies, pear of clowns and a few guppies. and a few coral + CC. 
water source is RODI water bought in store in 5 gal jugs. 

 

I thought the phosphates would be hard on the coral not fish*

The following picture is taken a moment ago. (sand bed was all green but I sucked a bunch up trying to clean out the algae. )
There isn't really a surface not covered in algae.
I have green hair algae, red turf algae and some red bubble algae starting. 

 

Maybe, I might just try and wait it out. Its just killing me seeing it like this. Ill also try to reduce the numbers of mollies. pair of guppies and clowns are a pretty light bio load but mollies can be pigs if you feed them a lot + grazing. 
Also might need to start changing filter floss more regularly. so far I have been doing it biweekly, and nitrates have been rather fine with all the water changes I do. 

20211005_193902.jpg

Have you tested your purchased water for tds, nitrate, and phos?

 

That might be your source because the tank isn't overstocked. Often purchased rodi is the culprit because its not always rodi but rather RO or the filters aren't changed frequently enough leading to water that isn't pure.

 

Do you vacuum the sand with each waterchange? 

 

Do you blast the rocks with a turkey baster during waterchanges?

 

Have you tested dead zone in the tank flow wise?

 

What kind of rock did you use?

 

What is in your filter and how is the media maintained?

 

 

The back wall looks covered in algae. I would scrape and siphon it out.

35 minutes ago, rough eye said:

mine or his? mine is 13.5 and only 2 fish. bones' tank is 29gal and reading his other conversation it had upwards of 15 fish?

15 fish would be way over stocked

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bones6966
42 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

Have you tested your purchased water for tds, nitrate, and phos?

 

That might be your source because the tank isn't overstocked. Often purchased rodi is the culprit because its not always rodi but rather RO or the filters aren't changed frequently enough leading to water that isn't pure.

 

Do you vacuum the sand with each waterchange? 

 

Do you blast the rocks with a turkey baster during waterchanges?

 

Have you tested dead zone in the tank flow wise?

 

What kind of rock did you use?

 

What is in your filter and how is the media maintained?

Purchased water was measured a minuet ago. Nitrate 0 ppm and phosphate at 0.05.

Tank vacuumed every Friday 5gal water change. 10 gal last 2 weeks wile fighting the algae.  

 

Most of the time I blast the rocks. 

 

I have a few deadzones, but I make sure to vacuum them. I plan to add another powerhead to help. 

Rock was established rock from LFS.

Aqueon QuietFlow canister filter. Filter floss changed bi-weekly. 

 

Tank was a bit overstocked with male mollies doing there thing. But LFS is happy to take the saltwater mollies, and I have removed all males and fry concurrently. 

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rough eye
1 minute ago, bones6966 said:

Tank was a bit overstocked with male mollies doing there thing. But LFS is happy to take the saltwater mollies, and I have removed all males and fry concurrently. 

so 12 or 13 total? i know it might be hard to part with some of them but would probably hasten alleviating your problem. i wouldn't consider clowns "light bio load." don't underfeed them as a solution to combatting algae. mat any rate i hope you can be patient a few months for things to clear up.

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rough eye

was reading other thread again. i can see you already started dosing vibrant. also noticed you have crushed coral bed. don't be afraid to aggressively suck that up when vacuuming the substrate; you can replace it down the line with some live sand which would be a much better option.

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Clown79
3 hours ago, rough eye said:

was reading other thread again. i can see you already started dosing vibrant. also noticed you have crushed coral bed. don't be afraid to aggressively suck that up when vacuuming the substrate; you can replace it down the line with some live sand which would be a much better option.

Oh ya. I did crushed coral yrs ago, that stuff traps alot of stuff. I used to vaccuum it  and stirred it twice a week. 

 

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Murphych
13 hours ago, bones6966 said:

 

20211005_193902.jpg

To me, that picture says there isn't enough flow down low... There are mats of cyano (?) On the rock and the sandbed looks pretty like it has almost zero flow over it. 

 

From looking at the picture your power head is pointing right up. I would consider a less aggressive angle so that the current hits the right hand panel and pushes down toward the sandbed. You could clean that tank pit within an hour manually every week. And flow should keep the rest suspended.. 

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bones6966
14 hours ago, Murphych said:

To me, that picture says there isn't enough flow down low... There are mats of cyano (?) On the rock and the sandbed looks pretty like it has almost zero flow over it. 

 

From looking at the picture your power head is pointing right up. I would consider a less aggressive angle so that the current hits the right hand panel and pushes down toward the sandbed. You could clean that tank pit within an hour manually every week. And flow should keep the rest suspended.. 

I have adjusted the angle of the power head, pointed up like that had a nice circular flow in the tank but not directly blowing on the rocks. I have it pointed down now and a bit more aggressively on the rocks. I will hold off on any additional Vibrant and manually scrub rocks and siphon up my crushed coral, with the intent to replace it with sand in the future. 
In addition I will add another powerhead on payday to hopefully help with dead spots. 

The red on the rocks is red turf algae. I think there is a bit of cyano between the glass and the crushed coral but hopefully better flow helps with that. 
I shall do a deeper clean this WC and monitor for changes. 
 

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bones6966

Deep clean complete.
All live rock removed and scrubbed with tooth brush. And only replaces the 3 largest pieces, mainly to reduce the dead spots. 

%99 of the crushed coral has been vacuumed out, as well as all sides of the tank scraped and scrubbed during my %50 WC.

I have also further reduced the fish load in the tank. It now consists of clown pair, 2x female Mollie, and one guppy I could not catch lol

 

I do need to repopulate my CC but things look a lot cleaner. 

I also had to manually remove algae from the coral and frags. 

 

I did have a significant amount of *shit* in my crushed coral. Most likely contributing to my astronomical phosphates. 

 

On a side note the amount of copepods in my rocks is kind of astounding, and my hermits don't really seem to be having a good time on the bare bottom. 

I will replace floss daily for the next 3 days to help with all the crap getting sucked up at the moment.

 

Fingers crossed that this helps make things a bit easer going. 

 

 

Bla.jpg

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Clown79
14 minutes ago, bones6966 said:

Deep clean complete.
All live rock removed and scrubbed with tooth brush. And only replaces the 3 largest pieces, mainly to reduce the dead spots. 

%99 of the crushed coral has been vacuumed out, as well as all sides of the tank scraped and scrubbed during my %50 WC.

I have also further reduced the fish load in the tank. It now consists of clown pair, 2x female Mollie, and one guppy I could not catch lol

 

I do need to repopulate my CC but things look a lot cleaner. 

I also had to manually remove algae from the coral and frags. 

 

I did have a significant amount of *shit* in my crushed coral. Most likely contributing to my astronomical phosphates. 

 

On a side note the amount of copepods in my rocks is kind of astounding, and my hermits don't really seem to be having a good time on the bare bottom. 

I will replace floss daily for the next 3 days to help with all the crap getting sucked up at the moment.

 

Fingers crossed that this helps make things a bit easer going. 

 

 

Bla.jpg

With such a deep clean and removal of so many rocks, i would monitor for ammonia.

 

Liverock is your bio filter and it looks like you removed a lot.

 

In 29g there should be at least 20lbs of liverock 

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bones6966
26 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

With such a deep clean and removal of so many rocks, i would monitor for ammonia.

 

Liverock is your bio filter and it looks like you removed a lot.

 

In 29g there should be at least 20lbs of liverock 

I replaced two more of the larger pieces as I had them still sitting in a bucket of water, with such a big change I suppose better safe than sorry. 
I do have a full trey of bio media in my filter as well but I don't want to chance hurting the fish/coral. 
So I have now only removed one of the les nice looking rocks I had in there.

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rough eye

test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate daily over the next couple of weeks. and you might want to add some live sand.

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michael_cb_125

 

"In 29g there should be at least 20lbs of liverock"

 

This is an incorrect statement. While live rock is an important source of biological filtration, live rock should not be looked at like it was 20 years ago. 

 

I will take 10 pounds of very porous natural live rock over 30 pounds of man made concrete rock anyday. 


~Michael

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Clown79
2 hours ago, michael_cb_125 said:

 

"In 29g there should be at least 20lbs of liverock"

 

This is an incorrect statement. While live rock is an important source of biological filtration, live rock should not be looked at like it was 20 years ago. 

 

I will take 10 pounds of very porous natural live rock over 30 pounds of man made concrete rock anyday. 


~Michael

Ya but the amount of rock that was left in a relatively new system, especially after a deep clean, can pose serious issues with the bio filter.

 

If you have a 29g with three small pieces of LR and 4-5 fish, what are you relying on for biofilter not to mention where will corals be placed in the future? 

 

As much as 1-2 lb rule is an old rule, its not exactly recommended to have 7lbs for a 29g.

 

Getting good established liverock isn't exactly easy and for most, not even possible.

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mcarroll
On 10/4/2021 at 8:22 PM, bones6966 said:

I was advised that this is not good for the fish/coral and would contribute to the level of algae I am currently dealing with.

I'm not sure whose advice you've been following so far, but mollies, guppies and crushed coral aren't a very common way to start a tank.  (For good reasons.)

 

Consider redesigning the tank with the standard design elements:  live rock, protein skimmer, lights and flow.

 

More folks have used that combination successfully than any other, by far.  Substitutions are just that....substitutions.  Be wary of them.  Some are acceptable, some are unacceptable.  I would save deviations from the standard setup for your next tank/when you have more experience.

 

Folks do reef without live rock, but I'm not sure I'd consider doing it as a newbie.  It would be a VERY VERY slow setup if I did.  If you can get live rock, do so.

 

FYI...

 

Phosphates are never harmful as far as I can tell, and I've read quite a bit on them (related articles I've saved on my blog).  Corals – even Acropora – seem to be VERY healthy when grown in water with high phosphates levels. There's one study floating around where they tested PO4 levels up to some crazy level like 4 ppm or something.  Maybe higher.  My own tank has phosphates >2.0 ppm...corals are great, fish are great.  There are several notable tanks out there running "crazy high" nutrient levels...they just aren't popular in the hobby for some reason....off the top of my head, Scripps Institute's tank, PaulB's.  I wouldn't say too many folks on N-R keep "crazy high" nutrients, but you don't generally see anyone around here chasing nutrients down to zero like you do a lot of places.  Lots of good examples to follow here IMO if you look around.

 

Also, if you don't have any good reefing books, I'd highly suggest getting at least one.  Check this out for suggestions: Your Reef Aquarium-Oriented Reading List!

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