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Old 05-05-2004, 09:08 PM   #1
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Algae problem

Let me go through what I got so you have an idea:
16 gallon
10Lbs live rock
10Lbs lacerock and petrified wood
1 Cleaner shrimp
1 emerald crab
1 clown (true perc)
1 Purple Friedman
1 of those snails that dig around in the sand
3 turbo snails
Lotsa tubeworms (no idea where they came from)
1 140 g/h powerhead
1 Home made filter consisting of a PVC tube stuffed with filter floss, Activated carbon and a 160 g/h pump.
Doing 5 gallon water change every saturday.
8 hours of 80 watt light per day.
20 watt 10,000k, 20 watt 3500k, 2x 20 watt 6500k bulbs

My problem is that I have redish-brown algee growing on my sand. Sometimes it even looks purple. When I stir up the sand to break it up and burrie it, it takes it about a day for the algee to completely re-cover the sand. Then it starts to climb up my rocks. I want my coraline algee to move to my lace rock and tank walls which it's slowly starting to do... but I have to imagine this brown algee isn't helping. I could kill the lights for a couple of days to kill it off but I'm afraid for my good algee.

The only recent changes were the addition of the filter. Yes, I ran the tank for months without it but the water was cloudy. The filter cleared the water up in about 3 minutes... I was surprised it was so fast. Basically there's PVC pipe leading up away from the pump to the back of the tank where a 1-1/2" PVC tube with a threaded collar hangs. I stuffed one of those blue scrubbys in first to catch the big stuff and then filled 90% of the tube with filter floss and finally a bag of activated carbon. Then the tube returns. All the stuffing reduces the flow coming out of the nozel considerably so don't think I'm moving 300 gallons of water an hour.

Also, I think I'm missing a snail... haven't seen all three together in a week or 2. Maybe it dies somewhere and is decaying in the tank?

What should I do?

(sorry I'm long winded... lol)
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:27 PM   #2
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Sounds like cyano to me. First, don't stir it up...vacuum it out. Check for nitrate and phosphate. Are you using RO/DI water? If possible, add another powerhead and get more flow going across the substrate. Cyano doesn't like current. How long has your home made filter been running? Have you checked the media? I don't think one snail decaying will cause much of a problem. I would probably add a few more snails though. Perhaps 5-6 nassarius and 5-6 ceriths. JMHO.
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:46 PM   #3
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Yes, I get the Shnazzy watter out of the RO machine at the grocery store. It's even UV sterilized.

I just tore my tank apart... finally found the snail. It's hiding tucked under nook in one of my rocks. i think it may be breeding... I've already had 1 baby snail in my tank but my bastard friedman ate it.

I changed the filter once so far, about a week or two ago. The allege problem started soon after that. I could re-adjust the powerhead to point at the sand, I'm only worried that it'll cause all the sand to pile in a corner.

That's 10 to 12 snails you suggested... in my 16 gallon tank? are you sure? I mean there would be hardly any room for them to move! hehe

I was thinking of getting a hermit crab to stir up the sand, but the guy at the store suggested that it might attack my snails. Is that true?
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Old 05-06-2004, 12:29 AM   #4
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I haven't tested the waterin a while so I just did... Amonia, Nitrites and Nitrates are all at 0 or at least bellow the detection level of my kit. But the Cyano or Algea may be what's keeping it at 0... I dunno.
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Old 05-06-2004, 03:07 AM   #5
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Depends on the crab. If you like the looks of it and the benefits it brings to the tank, then just plan on adding more snails. My blue-legged crab is decent sized and he's picking off the snails that don't right themselves. I figure he is doing me a favor. Get a small red-legged hermit if you're concerned.
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:44 AM   #6
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Many books recomend growing macro algae, coralline for example, will compete with micro algae. In the meantime get a small number of snails, or hermits. Only get a few to start, I once added too many and they wiped out a lot of lr
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Old 05-06-2004, 11:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by 24 hours? NE!
Get a small red-legged hermit if you're concerned.
My blue legs leave my snails alone, but my red legs eat them every chance the get. I have even caught the reds trying to peel the snails off of the glass ! Also my reds seem to have grown much larger than the blues.
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Old 05-06-2004, 11:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by JG
My blue legs leave my snails alone, but my red legs eat them every chance the get. I have even caught the reds trying to peel the snails off of the glass ! Also my reds seem to have grown much larger than the blues.
Interesting, must be those East coast claws. I won't have more than 1 or two pairs of claws in my tank at the most. That way I know who to blame and the removal is easier.
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Old 05-06-2004, 12:50 PM   #9
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I like my snails!!! Anyways, the snails have more Coraline algea on their shells than most of my live rock has on itself... lol

There aren't any herbavore hermits?
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Old 05-06-2004, 12:54 PM   #10
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Sounds like slime algae to me. I cured mine with more current. Vacuum out the stuff and add or redirect a powerhead to the area.
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