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where's the algea coming from?


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i'm having a slight attack of hair algea...again. My rocks were covered in it when it was cycling 3 months ago, but up until recently everything has seemed ok. Now i'm getting hair algea on the walls of my tank and on my filter components (intake tube mostly). My nitrates are 0ppm, so my question now is does distilled water contain phosphates? i can't find a test kit locally to test for it in my tank or the distilled water i'm using for top offs, and i don't have the cash to internet order one right now. By process of elimination i'm trying to figure out my problem. Any help is always appreciated!!


one other note, does coralline algea come in green too? the coralline has been coming in great the past month, but right around when the hair algea started to pop up again, some bright green algea (kinda looks like coralline) has show up on every spot on my rocks that aren't covered in corals or purple coralline.

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I would do a couple of water changes. The source for the algae could be phosphates as you expected. A way to get rid of this is to add a refugium. This also will increase your "pod" population in your tank. Goodluck.

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It depends on your lights too. If you leave ur lights on too long then you will see aglae like that. There may be posphates but the lighting will make them spread, only leave the light on for 6 hours a day. Also how big is the tank and are you using a protein skimmer?

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i do plan on adding a frag tank/fuge (about 15 gallons) the beginning of next year, no money to start it now. i do weekly water changes of around 40%.


fishtec: lights, 13w actinic on for about 12 hours, 70w DE MH, on for about 8 hours, i'll cut it back a few more hours for now.


tank is only 5 gallons, so no skimmer, just weekly water changes, skimmer to come with addition of extra 15 gallon fuge


any other idea anyone? thanks for the help so far

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Excessive algae growth is almost always caused by excessive nutrients in the water. Another way of saying this is you may feed too much or your water changes may not be frequent enough. You can try Kent's Phosphate sponge medium as well. Also, try to increase your circulation. Nuisance algae hate bright light and strong current.

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ask yourself this question when looking at your tank.


"is the algae growing where my herbivores cannot get at it?"


the walls of a tank and filter parts are typical places that get algae because hermits and crabs cant get at it. the same thing happens in the ocean.


this would be normal, and happens in my tank.




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i've come to the conclusion it is phosphates (has to be, everything else is fine)...i'll pick up a sponge at work in the morning and see how that works.


thanks everyone for the help

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I'm having a problem with algae as well. My sand is also covered in brown algae. I just added a fuge and my question is how long will it take for it to help the tank? Chaeto has been in it for two days.

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