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Old 12-02-2011, 02:23 PM   #1
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Algae problem for semi-noob...please help vets!

Hello All~
First time post so I'll give a little backround on what i know and my setup as I've read enuf of these to know that's very important information. I'll be brief.

Started into the hobby with my 6yr old daughter about 6 months ago. Both her and I have become pretty much addicted to it at this point and enjoy even the PWC's!

I have a 75g aqueon rr tank w/built in overflow. 75lbs of live rock and 150lbs of sand/crushed coral substrate. below that I have an e-shopps R-200 refugium sump (I think it's a 30g sump) with about a 3" sandbed and a couple big chunks of cheato. I have a reef octopus (nwb-150) sitting in the first chamber of the fuge as well.

water flow: running 2 maxi-jet 900's and 2 koralia nano's along with the flow from the fuge return pump. return pump is 630gph. That being said...I think I'm good for flow, but if i'm not...please tell me.

Live stock: I have 1 hippo tang, 1 percual clown and 1 firefish. 1 torch coral (about 5" diameter), 1-Alveopora coral (4"), 1 piece of star polyps and some zoas.

Lighing: 2- 250w hqi halides, 2-54w actinic, 3-night leds. total cycle (before algae outbreak) 8hrs. total cycle (now) 4-5hrs. i turn on the actinics about 30 min b4 the halides go on.

Finally to the question.....Tank was running nice and smooth.
ammonia 0
nitrites 0
nitrates 5
ph 8.2-8.4
sal 1.023-1.025 (have refractometer) learned my lesson with those piece of junk hydrometers..almost killed my fish when sal went up to 1.031 using that hrydo!

I'm having a slimy algae outbreak. Algae is browish, stringy and slimy. sticks to GHA and mostly substrate, but i do see it on the catch on the glass, but not nearly as much as the substrate. I THINK it was from excess nutrients in the water b/c someone told me to feed the torch twice a week with this zoo plankton. I was feeding like 5ml of that stuff trying to taget feed but a s*itload of it was im sure flowing right passed! I was now told by someone else that that's ridiculous and un-necessary. I should feed the coral once a week...maybe. What's right.....I don't know, which is why I'm coming to all of you!

either way...i started getting this slimy stringy algae outbreak and noticed my cheato is shrinking! my nitrates are at 0, which they've never been before. Im reading that the algae is consuming all the trates and leaving nothing for the cheato to feed on and that I need to shut the light off to break the cycle. I've been doing pwc every other day (only about 5-10g) which someone suggested and dropping lights down to 4-5hrs per day to try and stop this horrible crap from growing. Seems i have slowed it down, but it's not gone.

I'm worried if i leave my lights off completely, that I'll hurt my torch and alveapora coral and I love those things and would really hate myself if i killed em! Will they be able to withstand a couple days in darkness in order to kill this slimy algae?!?!

Other then the algae problem....everything seems to be nice and healthy. Tang has really gown from when i got her. she feasts on the little algae sheets i give and the clownfish and firefish are fierce eaters as well. I feed frozen mysis shrimp (yes, i soak it and then run RO water over it thru a filter about 5 times before dumping it in tank)

I'm getting to my wits end with this effin algae....help!

Regards,

Tom
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:41 PM   #2
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There's an important measurement that hasn't been reported above: what are your phosphates?
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:47 PM   #3
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phosphates

Thank you for the quick reply...much appreciated.

last i checked yesterday...they were 0.

I'm running a bag chemi-pure and a polyfilter in the cannister. was running them for over 2 weeks when this started. they wouldn't have caused the problem, woudl they? first time I'm running chemi-pure, but have been running the poly sheets for months.

I guess i forgot to mention that I'm using my eheim canister (had before i got the rr aquarium) for my media.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:49 PM   #4
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Here's the thing - phosphates at 0 if you have a lot a lot of algae is unsurprising, since it's the algae thats devouring the 'phates.

My suggestion would be to scrape and siphon as much of the algae out of there as you can...keep doing your PWCs as well, and keep an eye on the phosphate levels. Algae is getting its nutrients from someplace!

As for the rest, I can't really say as I've never used a cannister on my tank, I usually just toss a sack of phosguard into my sump
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:59 PM   #5
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well i can also throw a bag of phosguard in my sump as well. I just didn't think there would be any phosphates in the system at this point b/c i stopped squirting that zoo plankton in there about a week ago.

also running the chemi-pure AND the poly-filter....I dont see how i cud have any phosphates to beign with!

either way.....should i keep the tank dark in addition to the pwc's or would that hurt my coral? im just worried about that. I obviously know the fish will be fine.
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:05 PM   #6
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I know how u feel I'm about the same as u tank newbie every thing but I'm about 4 months ahead of u and just beaten hair algae and red slime . I'd love to tell u how I done it but I dunno just did my part water changes each week changed my filter floss more often turned my skimmer up and made sure there no waste food and I stopped adding coral food unless I see them struggling and I never turned my lights down good luck u can win bare with it we all been there
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty09 View Post
I know how u feel I'm about the same as u tank newbie every thing but I'm about 4 months ahead of u and just beaten hair algae and red slime . I'd love to tell u how I done it but I dunno just did my part water changes each week changed my filter floss more often turned my skimmer up and made sure there no waste food and I stopped adding coral food unless I see them struggling and I never turned my lights down good luck u can win bare with it we all been there

Thanks for the words of encouragement Scotty!

Quick question for you....what type of lights do you have and how long is your cycle. Is 4-5 hrs too little during this period or should i bump it back up to the normal 8hrs?

also...this is probably a dumb question, but i just realized i've never rinsed my coarse filter that goes from the fuge to the return pump. I'll do it the second i get home, but could that be causing this? it's been about a month since i hooked up the fuge...maybe a bit more.I know it's prob should be done, and I can't believe i never thought to do this, but i don't see how it would cause such a major problem like this.
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:12 PM   #8
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I won't say that its normal...i'm sure there are people who have managed to get through setting up a tank without going through huge algae spurts...but I can tell you, right around the 5-6 month period after it was cycled, I too went through it...first with red slime (which was dealt with by doing PWCs and suctioning the crap out) and then, far worse, a green hair algae outbreak that made my tank look like it was part of my lawn....again, more diligence with PWCs, reduced light time to around 4 hours (I didnt have corals at the time, and my clown fish didnt really seem to give a crap) and increased clean up crew a bit.

It was bad enough at one point that my clown fish actually bonded with a long bloom of green algae as though it were an anemone. He'd spend all day swimming through the hair. It was kindof sad really. I was feeling awful about suctioning it out until the little bugger bit me - at which point I felt okay about it.

God I hated that fish.
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:55 PM   #9
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I got 2x250w mh and 2x54w blues I change my filter floss once a week and u cycled from 5 hrs what u mean by this
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:57 PM   #10
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I see I have 3 hrs blue before 5 hrs mh and blues then 3 hrs blue again works for me plus stops my tank getting hot coz my mh about 3" from water
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