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Old 04-29-2008, 01:10 PM   #1
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algae bloom

Hi I am a newbie with a 75 gallon reef tank for 1 1/2 years. In the past six months the algae has been getting worse and worse. I had a thread that got closed and it gave me a lot of good advice and asked some questions of me that I never got to answer and so here goes.

I am going to read up nutrirnts (advice that it's mostly about them)

My nitrate level is 0

I have not been using RO/DI, but have stated now. I was using tap water with Prime for top up and weekly in my water changes salt to 1.024.( I have an anemone, open brain coral and a sun coral and read they like a higher salinity) I have been doing 15% wc once a week. Should I try twice a week?

Is gfo like a phosban reactor? I just got one about 1 month ago and put Rowa in, but I have to get more Rowa as I didn't get enough. (The city I live in does not carry it so I have to travel to get it)

I do have a skimmer.

I will feed every other day now even though I worry I am starving them. I am sure my clowns won't be happy as even now when I come near the tank with out food I am sure they are telling me to go get some and if I don't I'm sure my female is trying to nag me into it. She's delighfully bossy to me and her male.

I keep my lights on for 9 to 10 hours.

I hope I have answerred all the questions everone asked. I really apreciate all your help. I have learned so much since I have joined the site.


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Old 04-29-2008, 01:22 PM   #2
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I would reduce the feedings and up the PWC to 20-25%.
How old are your light bulbs?
Keep in mind, older bulbs have a shift in spectrum which can help to fuel algae.

Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

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Old 04-29-2008, 03:09 PM   #3
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Read this

FantasyReef Databases-Viewing item "10 Step Plan for Nuisance Algae Control"
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:06 PM   #4
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I'll stick with my original reply that the algae problem is from high nutrients, whether it is from overfeeding or....more likely using tap water. 15%/week pwc is OK, but 20%/week with RO/DI water would be better right now until you get everything under control.

GFO is granular ferric oxide and it's the stuff that is used in the reactor. Rowaphos is good, but expensive. Check out BulkReefSupply for GFO. I use their pellets and it's alot cheaper than the name brand gfo's. Avoid the aluminum based phosphate removers. They are usually white or off-white where gfo is brown or rust colored.

What brand skimmer do you have? Every other day is fine for feeding and your 9-10 hr light cycle is fine also.
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:55 PM   #5
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Maybe I missed it somewhere, but I don't see anywhere in any of the other posts what actual type of algae we're talking about? And where is it?

Are we talking cyanobacteria on your rocks? On your sand bed? Is it hair algae on your rocks? Is it some type of macro algae?

Sorry if I missed it, but a little more info might help. Also... what type of lighting do you have (wattage/type)?
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:16 PM   #6
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Sorry the last thread was closed. couldn't help but comment on the guy with the ego. Have you tested your tapwater for nitrates/phospates? My RO/DI unit was the best investment I ever made into my saltwater aquarium (next to my refractometer) Having 100% pure water helps me to sleep at night. LOL I would definately start with an RO/DI unit before you purchase anything else. Pure water is crucial when trying to duplicate the ocean in a box. Its hard to rule out any issues when using tapwater because most tapwater sucks and has lots of stuff in it that algae feeds on even if in trace amounts. Depending on where you live the amounts vary. I bought my RO/DI unit for a little under $200.00 shipped at melevsreef.com others buy them on e-bay for a lot less.

Also just to add most Nitrate test kits test down to 5ppm I bought the Salifert test kit that tests down to 2ppm and found that I had 2ppm nitrates when my API kit tested 0

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Old 04-29-2008, 11:06 PM   #7
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Wow thanks to everyone!

I have changed from tap water to RO/DI I get it from the store that has a unit -- is that okay? I also read on this site that aging the water for 24 hours after putting the salt with a power head in is a good thing. So I'm trying that.

I have a Coralife Super Skimmer.

I just bought my lights two months ago, so the bulbs are brand new. I'll have to get back to you on what kinds of lights as I can't find my papers -- yikes. I have 2 moon lights, two blue day time tube lights that hang over my tank and two halogen lights that also hang. I spent close to $2,000.00 and the sales person asured me I had what it would take for corals or anything I wanted.

The algae is I think the green hair algae. It is growing on my rocks in long hairy clumps, on my sand in shorter clumps and even on my hermit crabs and snails -- I feel like such a bad mommy!

I also scrub every other day and clean out a spot and try to gather out the algae I have picked off. I clean my filters and skimmer about two or three times a week or as I see it needed.

Any other info anyone needs?

Thank you so much
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Old 04-30-2008, 12:06 AM   #8
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Along the lines of fijiwigi's comment... if you haven't tested your store bought RO/DI water for nitrates and phospates, I do that first. Make sure the stuff you're putting in isn't registering any of either of those things. Yes... RO/DI is supposed to be pure, but you have no idea if the store/vendor is maintaining the unit properly. It could be dispensing tap water for all you know.

Aging the salt water is good, but won't come in to play when you're tracking down algae issues.

Feeding every other day (and only what they will eat) will probably help a lot. That, and keeping up with the manual removal should eventually turn the tide on it. Are you feeding any "coral food" or additives other than fish food?

P.S. Just read over your other posts, and I'm not seeing what all is in this tank fish-wise. Sounds like at least a couple clowns, but is that it?
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:03 AM   #9
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Do you have a sump/refugium? If not I would definately look into getting one. Having a macroalgae in the sump such as Chaetomorpha or Chaulerpa will help to absorb nutrients. I battled algae for a little while it would show up toward the end of the week before my PWC I spent lots of time manually removing it. After I added the Refugium with Macroalgae I have gone 2 weeks without really even a trace of algae,that and I increased my cleanup crew.Now I don't manually remove any algae at all ever. The Chaeto in my sump triples in size every 2 weeks. Inside my sump there is a small amount of nasty hair algae but not much. And no algae in the main display.
I don't have any filters to clean at all other than the refugium which I don't clean. and My skimmer I never clean just empty the cup about once a month when it gets full.
Hope this Helps

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Old 04-30-2008, 01:01 PM   #10
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Thanks again this is soooooo helpful,

I do target feed my sun coral Living Reef food -- this time live Rotifers.

I do have a sump.

My fish are a Manarian Dragonet goby, lawn mower blemmie, 2 clowns, and two fish I inherited when I got my tank. I don't know thier names, but they are common in the fish stores so i can find out. I tried to identify them on the net but haven't had any luck yet. One is a small very pale blue roundish fish who is very shy and hides in a corner most swimming backwards and forwards most of the time unless it is feeding time. The other is a spotted oblong fish with little spikes along his back. He's white and brown and orange. He perches on rocks like a blemmie or my goby and is a bit territrorial, but backs off easily.

I have two shrimp, a Coral banded shrimp and a Fire shrimp.

I have an open brain coral, a blue purple clam that I think is a Maxima and a orange sun coral. Plus lots of snails and hermit crabs.

I hope this helps.

Thanks so much again,

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