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Old 03-06-2005, 01:11 PM   #11
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Pic attached!

I use RO water, which gets TDS down to 001ppm, and feed sparingly once a day.

Apart from the rowaphos in my filter, is there anything else I can do to get rid of this algae??
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Old 03-06-2005, 02:00 PM   #12
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Apart from the rowaphos in my filter, is there anything else I can do to get rid of this algae??
Get a DI attachment for your RO system. Your tap water has organic PO4 and quite possibley silicates. The RO membrane by itself will not remove these. Then it's simpley a means of repeated water changes to dilute what's already in the tank. I still think that lid of your is at least a small part of the issue.

What type of foods are you feeding?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 03-06-2005, 03:33 PM   #13
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I'm feeding frozen gamma/mysis/brine/veggies.
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Old 04-30-2005, 10:10 PM   #14
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Steve: would getting a DI attachment definitely improve my algae situation? And I can still just do my usual 20% waterchange every 2 weeks?

Which would be more beneficial and make a big improvement in getting rid of my algae so it stays away - a skimmer, or the DI attachment?
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Old 04-30-2005, 11:03 PM   #15
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It looks like slime to me... but there are some other algaes in there that I am not able to recall off hand.

I would highly recommend that you remove your fake plants. They tend to trap bad stuff.

It would be very helpful to get a DI attachment however, if you cant afford to get both the DI and the skimmer, I would go with the skimmer. Most lfs carry DI/RO water. You can also just buy distilled water from the store. Wal-Mart carries it for really cheap. It is much better than using tap water.

Here is my big speech on cyanobacteria it should be very helpful to you:

In order cure your tank of this annoying algae you will have to take many steps and it may take a great deal of time. The first step you will want to take is to test your water. Find the root of the problem. “You will find that the overall catalyst for cyanobacteria issues is driven from phosphates, primarily organic forms. Nitrate unto itself will not cause it but will definitely fuel it's continued growth. Cyanobacteria is the one "algae" (if you will) that can actually manufacture it's own food supply so simply limiting nutrient is not the key. The reduction or preferably elimination of phosphates in both forms common to aquaria is the ideal goal.” (Care of Steve-S of Aquarium Advice.com) Now that we are sure that is the problem, where are all the extra nutrients coming from that is causing these problems? Once you have that under your belt, fix it. Here are some ideas to work with:

· Over feeding – Cut back your feedings. Stop using additives like Marine Snow for the time being and wait for the tank to get back to normal before you start using it again.
· Not enough water movement – Increase the amount of power heads in the tank, make sure they are pointing in directions that allow every spot in the tank to have constant movement.
· Poor tank husbandry – Start harvesting algae regularly. Do 25% water changes at least once a month depending on your filtration system.
· Fish die off – There is really no way to fix this unless this is a re-occurring problem. Just do your regular water changes and keep the tank as clean as possible. In the future, take the dead fish out ASAP.
· Use of tap water – While the chemicals you can buy at the store will clean out some of the problems with tap water, it is not recommended to use tap water in a salt water system. Most hobbyists will make use of Reverse Osmosis water and even some will use distilled water. I personally recommend using RO water for a salt water system; I also like to drink mine, it really tastes better than tap or bottled water.

In the mean time, you are going to need to clean up the tank. Here are some ideas on ways to fight the cyanobacteria.

· Harvest the algae. These means get in there and scrap it off and pull it out. Do not let any of the algae you remove get into the filtration system if you can avoid it. Really clean the tank well the first time. You will need to do this regularly until the problem is gone, so the first time you will want to be a through as possible to make regular cleanings a bit easier.
· Nitrate sponge is always a good way to help to remove the nitrates from the water. Most local fish stores carry this. My favorite brand is Kent. You can get a mesh bag and fill it with the Nitrate sponge, then attach it to a power head that is not being used for water movement. This will make sure that you get every drop of water through the sponge. If this is not an option for you, I would suggest putting it in your refugium where the water flows from one area to another.
· Chemi-clean and other additives. Chemi-clean is great! It does not hurt inverts or your tank, but it is just a bandage to the problem. There are other additives like Vital Gold and Combisan; the problem with these is that it will hurt the good bacteria in your tank. Also some of these products require that you turn off UV filters, protein skimmers and other filtration devices. I do not recommend using anything that needs you to turn off the protein skimmer. Antibiotics really will not help this problem.
· Protein Skimmers… what can I say to you if you do not have a protein skimmer? GET ONE NOW! Protein skimmers are God’s gift to hobbyists. These things are great! It helps to reduce the extra nutrients from the water before it gets turned into bad things like nitrates. If you have any questions about the best one to buy, ask a friend or post on a website like www.aquariumadvice.com, other hobbyists always want to help out. That is why we are hobbyists this has become our obsession!
· Siphon out the algae on your sand, take a bit of the sand with it. Sand holds nutrients very easily. Like I mentioned before, the stuff you see is not actually the cyanobacteria, so you want to get the root of the problem. Don’t take all your sand out though, just try and get the surface sand.
· Clean up crews. Who doesn’t love a cute, cuddly little hermit crab or snail? There are only a few types of these little guys that will actually eat this stuff though. You are going to want to get some Bumble Bee Snails and Mexican Red Footed hermit crabs. I would also recommend getting a few other little guys just to make sure you get it all. Any little snails that air raid the sand, sand sifting starfish and turbo snails are great to have in the tank to keep algae levels down.
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Old 05-01-2005, 01:43 PM   #16
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Your main concerns in the pic above are filamentous green algae and diatoms. Both are being fueled by the RO only water "IF" your source water contains them. The only way to be sure either way is to test. I think in the long run the DI attacment would be less cost and hassle than testing. Then all you need worry about is the types of foods you feed. Flake and other prepared dry foods are usually the #1 source of organic PO4 so they should be scrutinized. How often are you changing the ROWA and is it loosley packed in the Eheim?

I would get the algaes under control soon or it will develope into a larger issue. Especially if you start having any pH problems.

What kind of a clean up crew do you have?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 05-01-2005, 01:54 PM   #17
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Thanks for the advice!

I already use RO...

I'll increase tank movement, nitrates aren't a problem as they're constantly 0. I've got 10+ crabs in there but they haven't been doing much recently...no snails though.

I don't feed much at all (I under feed rather than over feed) so I dont think that will be the problem.

Do you think if I invest in a protein skimmer (it'll only be a fairly cheap one though) that would make a big difference to the problem? Do you have to do any maintanence with them?

Also, how often should I be cleaning (with used sw) my external filter? I've noticed a bit of gunk building up in there.
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Old 05-01-2005, 02:12 PM   #18
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no snails though.
Major hole in your clean up crew. Snails are the first best defense for algae concerns other than quality source water and other husbandry. Cerith and nassarius for the sandbed and larger more mobile snails for the rock and glass. Nerite, trochus, turbo and Margarita are good choices.

Quote:
Do you think if I invest in a protein skimmer (it'll only be a fairly cheap one though) that would make a big difference to the problem? Do you have to do any maintanence with them?
They require little or no maintenace but are definately a good addition. They are by no means a must especially on a smaller tank with no measurable nitrate. Your choice either way.

Quote:
Also, how often should I be cleaning (with used sw) my external filter? I've noticed a bit of gunk building up in there.
At least monthly. Every two weeks preferabley along with manually removing some of the lage in the main tank.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 05-01-2005, 02:26 PM   #19
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I feed frozen food - gamma, mysis, brineshrimp and seaveggies once a day, not too much.

I change the ROWA basically when I notice the algae building back up a bit, but this hasn't worked recently as it's built straight back up again. It's inside a small filter bag in the top media basket packed in between the media balls, fairly loosely.

Would "pH problems" likely be a drop in pH, rather than a rise?

Just wondering why it's started doing this now, after a year! The tank has stayed the same all year.

The snails will help get rid of current algae but not tackle the problem at its roots of course. With my water being 1TDSppm with the RO and no problems before, I dont think the water supply will have changed in the year so as to need the DI attachment now and not before so I can't see that helping much.

What would be the main things you'd do now to combat this problem? Perhaps I should be changing the rowa more regularly? Maybe my filter needs a good clean (could this cause the algae?)?

Will the algae problem be linked with these static bubbles that have started appearing all over the place that weren't there before? Would getting some bigger powerheads correct this problem and maybe sort the algae out too? Can watermovement itself sort the problem possibly?

So many questions, sorry!
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Old 05-01-2005, 02:40 PM   #20
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I feed frozen food - gamma, mysis, brineshrimp and seaveggies once a day, not too much.
If these are all seperate foods, pick one or two for each feeding and alternate the rest at other feedings. There's no reason to feed that many types at each feeding. Also be sure the brine is gutloaded/fortified or skip it altogether.

Quote:
I change the ROWA basically when I notice the algae building back up a bit, but this hasn't worked recently as it's built straight back up again. It's inside a small filter bag in the top media basket packed in between the media balls, fairly loosely.
I would suggest using it regularly until you get the problem under permanent control.

Quote:
Would "pH problems" likely be a drop in pH, rather than a rise?
Yes

Quote:
Just wondering why it's started doing this now, after a year! The tank has stayed the same all year.
Silicates especially are more common as the weather warms up. Could simpley be a change in the source water from your municipality. Have you changed/altered anything?

Quote:
The snails will help get rid of current algae but not tackle the problem at its roots of course. With my water being 1TDSppm with the RO and no problems before, I dont think the water supply will have changed in the year so as to need the DI attachment now and not before so I can't see that helping much.
I disagree on both accounts. The source water can and will change quite regularly depending on ground water leaching, turbidity, climate and average rainfall. Snails are a long term solution even if the source is nipped in the bud you will need for algae film and the like.

Quote:
What would be the main things you'd do now to combat this problem? Perhaps I should be changing the rowa more regularly? Maybe my filter needs a good clean (could this cause the algae?)?
Both as well as the DI attachment for the RO. Along with weekly water changes and the snail addition, you'll see results fairly soon. The closed in tank top is still a contributor IMO.

Quote:
Will the algae problem be linked with these static bubbles that have started appearing all over the place that weren't there before? Would getting some bigger powerheads correct this problem and maybe sort the algae out too? Can watermovement itself sort the problem possibly?
Low GPH can definately be a problem as can be trapped CO2. Algaes utilize CO2 during the day and give off O2. If your water movement is on the lower side and CO2 abundant from insufficient aeration, you end up with blooms quite quickly. It would still only be part of the problem, not the "complete" issue.

You need to address the entire problem, not just the individual pieces

Cheers
Steve
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