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Old 06-17-2006, 06:29 PM   #1
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Absolutly Freaking Out

For the past week or two I have been having serious algae problems. The algae I am reffering to is brown and extremly stringy (almost 4 or 5 inches long in certain parts). I have been using tap water for the most part, but decided to switch over to R/O water yesterday. So far I have done one water change with it and heard that eventually it will go away. Anyway, how many water changes can I do with R/O water without messing with the chemistry of the tank. I do not mind doing a water change everyday (if allowed) to get rid of the algae. Is there a minmum amount of time you have to wait to do a water change so that the tank does not lose it ability to convert ammonia, nitrite, etc. Any help would be mostly appreciated!!!
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Old 06-17-2006, 06:43 PM   #2
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The biological filtration is not in the water, it is on the surfaces of the rock, sand or whatever else is in the tank. As long as your water is matched to ph, temp and salinity, you will not suffer any ill effects to doing the water changes. Make sure that the water is aged and aerated for a day before using.
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Old 06-17-2006, 06:47 PM   #3
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You can do as many water changes with RO/DI water as necessary. It's all I use. The bacteria that converts ammonia and nitrite to nitrate lives on the substrate and rocks ect. and not in the water so doing water changes isn't gonna hurt it. I wouldn't go as far as every day. It sounds like cyanobacteria that you have and once or twice a week to get it under control would be fine. It will not happen overnight. The only thing you are minimizing by using RO/DI is the addition of nitrates and phosphates that may be present in your tap water and could be the root cause of your algae issues. Do you have test kits to test your water? If so, test your nitrate and phosphate. I have a feeling you'll find they are elevated. Good luck.
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Old 06-17-2006, 06:48 PM   #4
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lol Hara you posted while I was.... what she said.
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Old 06-17-2006, 08:03 PM   #5
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It didn`t happen overnite so it`s not going away overnite. But be patient and I think you`ll see a difference with the RO/DI water. Also feed your fish every other day.
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:22 PM   #6
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I would find out exactly what kind of algae it is. Chances are, you can find something that will eat it. If its a cyano, you have fewer options, but there are a few things that will eat that too and there is a poweder you can put in the tank (an antibiotic, i think) that will slow it down.

I would nail down what it is, before you go doing anything crazy. A tang, an angel, or a blenny will make short work of most algae you ever could hope to have, all depending on tank size and other animals allready present.

I see you allready have an angel.... if he isn't eating this stuff, it probably is a cyano. I do believe there is a hermit that will eat it, but bring a sample to your LFS, if they are any good they should be able to tell you what you have and sell you something to eat it or kill it.
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:50 PM   #7
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Adding a fish as an algae cure isn't a good idea IMO. Yes, maybe some inverts will help but water changes won't hurt and will help you get the root cause under control. Something is feeding it and water changes will remove that. These chemicals to cure cyano are just bandaids at best, not a cure. Read my article one cyanobacteria. Google cyanobacteria. It's an ever evolving algae that will eventually become immune to anything you throw at it. The ONLY way to fight it is to remove the fuel source and starve it out. That would be with RO/DI water changes.
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:52 PM   #8
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I do believe there is a hermit that will eat it, but bring a sample to your LFS, if they are any good they should be able to tell you what you have and sell you something to eat it or kill it.
Man, if u find something that eat cyano, let me know! lol im tired of battling my cyano problem... Wish i can find something to eat them
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Old 06-17-2006, 09:57 PM   #9
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Not many things will eat cyano. Sometimes scarlet and bluelegged hermits will pick at it and some strombus sp. snails like the queen conch will eat it. The queen conch gets to big for the home aquarium though. Smaller strombus like the fighting conches and tongan may or may not. I've read that nerites will eat it but mine never did. It's a crap shoot either way.
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Old 06-17-2006, 10:19 PM   #10
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Fluff, you have a point, however, I have a pico tank that is only topped off with distilled water, the only water that goes into the salt mix is distilled as well. This has been the case since I set this tank up in 2004. I have proper watermovement due to a hang on mini filter, as the micro powerhead was not sufficient.

I never add any food, ever, nor anything else, ever, for any reason, to the tank. I have a cyano problem that has not gone away completely for almost a year. I imported it on a frag and it took off from there.

So, my water is not the issue. I am not adding food to the tank, ever, since the goby eats the pods on the LR. You tell me what I could do different?

Skimming will work in some cases but I am hardly going to add a skimmer to a 2 1/2 gallon pico tank.

My solution was to add a couple of tiny hermits that were supposed to eat the stuff. It is hard to tell if they are or not, which is why I did not recomend them.

All I am trying to say is that if you have a problem, you should use the following steps, in order, to try and fix it:

1. remove anything contributing to the problem, in this case, maybe the water used, which he was doing.

2. try to find something that will eat the undesireable whatever it is, in this case, a few species of hermits MIGHT and conch are supposed to. Adding a few snails might work for him, and you can never have enough hermits in a tank, so I don't see any harm in that.

3. use a chemical to do it.


That's all I was trying to say, I am the last one here to recommend dumping chemicals into the water! That should always be last resort.


Heck, his lighting could be the major factor if it is just an algae, and what is he going to do, swap out his lighting for lower rate stuff? I know every time I ever upgraded my lights I had a diatom explosion in my tank - you can get it when you replace the bulbs during maintenance too.

Just my 2 cents worth. I have been looking at this stuff for a long time in that pico.
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