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Coral Vue Hydros

What am I missing here!?!


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Hello NR community!


I’m in need of some help perhaps advice. I’m dealing with an algae issue that I can’t seem to figure out how to fix. Yes I can scrub the rock or get a fish but that doesn’t help me get to the root cause which is what I want to do. I’ve attached photos with info for reference. I think I’m clearly missing some obvious thing here on getting phosphate to go down but it just isn’t clicking for me. I’m trying to find the most chemical free approach and looking for ideas/suggestions that have worked for any of you. Thanks for the help in advance.

Start Date: 1/28/23
Tank: Innovative Marine 25 lagoon
Salt: Tropic Marin Reef Pro
Test Kits: Salifert
Dosing: Tropic Marin All For Reef
Lights: AI Prime (2)
Rear Chamber: Purigen/filter pad/chemipure blue nano, skimmer. 
Water Changes: every Wed, 3 gal
Livestock: snails , 1 crab and a pink streaked wrasse





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  • surgio changed the title to What am I missing here!?!
1 hour ago, surgio said:

I think I’m clearly missing some obvious thing here on getting phosphate to go down but it just isn’t clicking for me.

Wrong goal – that's the problem.  


1 hour ago, surgio said:

Salt: Tropic Marin Reef Pro

You might consider switching to their standard formula that has a normal alkalinity level.


1 hour ago, surgio said:

Lights: AI Prime (2)

Depending on the setup that could be a lot of light for a pretty small tank – do you know the lux or PAR that the tank is getting?  (At minimum I recommend getting a lux meter app, or much better a $10 lux meter.)


1 hour ago, surgio said:

Rear Chamber: Purigen/filter pad/chemipure blue nano, skimmer. 

The skimmer is all you should need.  Remove the other stuff.


1 hour ago, surgio said:

snails , 1 crab

Herbivores are what keep algae under control.  A crab is going to mostly be a scavenger.  What snails do you have?  And how many?


Your water test parameters are hard to respond to when you post a pic like that.....text is better.


Salinity and temperature are a little low IMO.  1.025 or 1.026 would be more ideal if you plan on keeping corals.


Calcium and Magnesium are also low (but that doesn't have much effect on critters.....just chemistry).


Alkalinity is oddly high considering the salt you're using.....alk around 6-7 dKH would be expected.  


Any idea why alk is so high but other levels (ca, mg) are so low?  Not an immediate problem, but it's not a good mystery to have on your hands either.


You mentioned phosphate, but I don't see test results for it.   PO4 should be ≥0.10 ppm or so.


As for your algae, you are the #1 member of your cleanup crew so remove it by hand.  Use your fingers like tweezers.  Work in a small area until it's totally clean.  Then move on to another area.


Depending on your answer tho the snails question, it looks like there's a good chance you could use more herbivores on your cleanup crew.

  • Like 1
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And that’s why there’s only one crab in there, snails, about 7. 

pic of test results is fine. 

phosphate is high,  clearly there’s an issue there’s so I’m not “wrong” in trying to fix that. 

not sure why it’s mixing at those levels. Can’t switch salts, I got a mis delivery and ended up with two huge buckets for the price of a little one, thanks Petco!  Lol 

lights, that’s my thought as well so they’re going to be turned down asap  now that the rocks are scrubbed clean. 



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5 hours ago, surgio said:

pic of test results is fine. 

The picture of your parameters is making it confusing to talk about....at least for us, but maybe for you too.


For example...

5 hours ago, surgio said:

phosphate is high

You repeat about phosphate, but phosphate is not in your test results in the picture.


If you're thinking that you have 8.0 phosphates.....pH is "potential of hydrogen"...as in the old-fashioned litmus test.  (Your pH is spot-on.)


Phosphate, which is PO4, is a separate test.  


(If PO4 is part of your graphic, it's not showing up.  I see temperature, salinity, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, calcium, magnesium and alkalinity.  Nine parameters in a 3x3 "cube" that I can't quote in-line.)

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I would cut/remove as much as you can by hand.  


Consider adding an emerald crab.  They can go after corals eventually, but they are excellent at working down longer/visible algae.  


Cut back your dosing/feeding (if you are doing that currently) and do even more water changes.  


Consider going dark for a few days.  You can even put a black, garage bag over most of the tank to block all light.  


Like has been mentioned above, trying to get rid of all algae forever is not a good approach.  Management is the key.  


I had a horrific case of thick, green hair algae--as in solid, inch thick level breakout.  I got it under control using the above approach.  


Good luck!

  • Like 1
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I agree with Superdave, and i would add you have nitrates.  Plant growth is fueled by nitrates with phosphate as the limiting agent. If you are showing ten ppm nitrates you may have 30 to 50 but the algae is consuming 20-40. I would add clean your sand slowly over a couple of days,  limit your feeding and get rid of detritus. 

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