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I'm having SERIOUS issues w/ algea


seashellshelly

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seashellshelly

Okay, I'm looking for suggestions beyond the basic advice because my tank looks like hell right now. It's hard to have something you've spent so much time and money on look so crappy. Anyway, I've recently had a big outbreak of algea and don't know how to correct the situation. Here are the facts:

 

1. My tank is 2 1/2 mos old.

2. All tank inhabitants are doing great

3. I use RO water (from wal-mart) and Oceanic salt

4. I faithly do my water changes weekly

5. I don't think I overfeed

6. I have a 12 gal nano cube w/ LS and 12 lbs LR

7. My water quality is good

 

HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Thanks

Shelly

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GedemeisterDK

IME

 

set up a 24/7 refugeum w/ macroalgea (best investment i ever made), get a big and better cleanup crew (different types of snails, maybe a lawmover blenny), reduce lighting to 8 hours per day, keep alk and ca high, scrub down algea with toothbrush and vacume it out, vacume out all detritus (algea fertilizer), reduce bioload until algea is under control...

 

gedemeister

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2 options

 

1)add a bigger clean up crew

2) get a fuge. the chaeto in the fuge will feed on the extra phosphates starving nutirents nuissince alga in the main tank

 

i would do both. ime and imo the will really clean up a tank

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Couple of things. Forgive me if this is just a repeat of the basic advice. It will also be helpful to know what type of algae it is.

 

Get the water tested for phosphates and silicates...lets see if its a problem first. If it is, try getting something like Phosban or PhosGuard and try that out. If there is a phosphate problem...try to determine the source...maybe get the RO water tested, maybe it being made by an old RO filter. Worth a shot at least and it will be one less thing to worry about. Something like Chemipure may also help by reducing organics in the water.

 

Are you using an old bulb on the tank, changing it may help. If its only 2 months it should be fine, but you never know.

 

Finally, biological weapons. :-) I was having a real problem with brown algae in the tank that look horrid. I know this is enough to make most reefers shutter, but I introduced hair algae, and it has outcompeated the really ugly brown algae. Hence I swapped a really ugly algae for a merely ugly algae. I have since introduced Phosguard and Calurpa and am trying to knock out the hair. Going to add a small fuge this christmas, but its doing fine for now.

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Also, i would feed half of what you are feeding now. Try to keep the wastes low by doing so. I would add a fuge with cheato, cauplera can go sexual if you dont regulary prune it and light it 24/7. You did not specify which algea you have, if its prunable, do so, and remove that from the tank. I would also increase flow. I use "purfied water" from walmart and have no algea problems. I am also using reef crystals if that matters, i have heard salt could be a factor.

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the thing is, it hard NOT to give 'basic' advice, because the solution to this problem IS 'basic'.

 

start with this mind set; you do NOT have an 'algae problem', you have a 'PHOSPHATE problem'. phosphate is the key nutrient for algae, and algae CANNOT live without it! you MUST remove the phophate from your system. it might not be possible to remove the source (something might have died deep in your tank/rock) but you can certainly remove the phosphate in your water column. a phosphate pad and regular water changes will accomplish that.

 

another new mind set; there is no 'bad' algae. all algae, either micro or macro, are water 'scrubbers'. they clean your water of phosphate and return it to the cycle. how? they absorb phosphate, herbivores in your tank consume the algae and poop it out as ammonia, which is then converted to ..blah blah blah. lets say you were to do NOTHING about the algae, and at the same time stop adding ANYTHING to your tank. because it is a closed system, eventually the phosphate would be consumed by the algae, the herbivores would eat the algae, returning it to the cycle. the algae would fade away and you would end up with a tank with absolutely clean water.

 

the advice above about fuge's is actually the same thing. a fuge is a way to remove phosphate from a system, they do this by hosting macro algae (the 'good' algae, like there is such a thing) that consumes it, cleaning your water.

 

 

so you can see, it is pretty 'basic'. remove the phosphate and the algae fades away!

 

 

btw, bad top off water (tap water for instance) is a main source for phosphate. it is critical that all water added to your system is beyond reproach.

 

 

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/showthread...&threadid=43720

 

 

nalbar

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buy an RO/DI filter.

i used to have the same problems in my tanks until i bought ro-di filter. even when i was buying water from the LFS. Wal mart was the worst water i ever used. Culligan and Crystal ?something? were the best but still not good.

when i started to use my own water the algae was gone in a matter of one week.

check e-bay for a good deal, do a search for reverse osmosis in all categories.

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seashellshelly

Hey Guys

 

Thanks for all the great advice. I cannot add a fuge right now unfortunately but I am going to use all the other suggestions and really try to knock this thing out!

 

One question: If I reduce my light cycle, will this affect my zoos??

 

As far as what type of algea I have, I'm losing track. First I had some brown and a small amount of hairy red stuff. Now I have a lot of hairy red stuff and hairy green stuff.

 

Again, your responses have given me a lot of great ideas to try. Maybe something did die in my tank because the situation got really bad quickly and I haven't added anything new or changed anything in over a month. I guess a snail or a hermit could have died without me noticing.

 

Thanks

Shelly

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careful with the lights and zoos. the darn things can be touchy when it comes to darkness. if you are going to reduce your photo-period dont go overboard. i would not go below 8-9 hours.

 

it does not resolve your issue anyway. you have water quality issues.

 

if its not red slime the type of algae is irrelevent. it all has to be combated the same way. chances are you have more than one type anyhow.

 

 

nalbar

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liquidfluidity

It has become common knowledge that if you don't have a RO unit that you need to test your make-up water. The problem is that the stores don't maintain the filter cartridges within the filters so the impurities get passed along to the customer. This is unfortunate but it happens all of the tome in my area. I have worked for many of the shops in my area and that's one of the the things I test along with the customers tank water , the source water.

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I also use the RO water at walmart but everytime I do refills, I check on the inner side of the unit at the maintenance calender to see if they recently change the filters on the RO unit. Everytime I go there its verifies that they do monthly maintenance but Im not sure If they actually change out the filters. I test my RO water anyway and there are no phosphates, silica, or nitrates.

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seashellshelly

Okay, I cleaned the tank very well, added phosphate removal media, reduced my light cycle, and feed my fish the tiniest possible amount of food. I woke up today to red hairy algea gone NUTS in my tank!!! What the hell????????????? I'm so freakin frustrated right now!

 

Shelly

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it takes patience. when you 'cleaned' your tank you might have stirred something up, releasing phosphate.

 

its critical you keep your eye 'on the ball'. no phosphate=no algae

 

 

nalbar

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