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Old 10-11-2008, 08:07 PM   #1
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Algae: Worse visually than anything else?

I hear all these people asking about how to get rid of nuisance algae, but is algae really that bad? I know as it grows, it gets rid of nitrates and phosphates in the water (which is a very good thing).
I originally had a big problem with my pure white sand and live rock turning brown with diatoms, then after a month of battling, that was fixed.
Afterward, my sand and live rock was turning crimson red and black with red cyano, so I cut back feedings, added Phospure to get rid of phosphates, put some shaving brush algae in the main tank, and chaetomorpha algae in the fuge, which didn't seem to be working, as the cyano kept growing (The nitrates dropped to 10ppm, and phophates to 0ppm) So to 'nuke' the cyano, I added Red Slime Remover, which has worked wonderfully!
Now that my sand is going back to white (It's a little brown now, but will look better after vacuuming), I've noticed my rocks are starting to turn green, but after the previous battles, green is a welcome sight! I'm also growing green algae on the back glass to make up a nice background, though I saw a beautiful tank at the LFS with pink coralline algae growing on the back, with some xenia corals attached which I would actually prefer over the green
Anyway, back to the question at hand: If the nitrate and phosphate removing and green rocks are the pros, are there any cons?

A picture of the growing green algae

And a picture of my shaving brush algae, along with my Coral Beauty and my Ocellaris Clownfish trying to sneak into the shot

My 44 SW Hexagon Mixed Reef
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Old 10-11-2008, 11:36 PM   #2
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Anyway, back to the question at hand: If the nitrate and phosphate removing and green rocks are the pros, are there any cons?
It is true the algae will consume the no3 and po, but unless the algae is removed from the tank, the no3 and po is still in the system. If the algae dies, it's released into the system. If it's eaten, it's released back into the system.
The cons are if you see nusiance algae, like that on your rocks and the cyano and diatoms, it means your tank has nutrient rich water.

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Old 10-11-2008, 11:44 PM   #3
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Algae will always be present in one form or another. It is a misnomer to think one can rid algae of their tank, taking into consideration that it is an important part of the ecosystem. The fine line is balancing excessive algae growth where it negatively impacts our closed systems. I personally never bother cleaning my glass and let the algae burn itself out over time. Ha, at this moment I can't even see through my tank because the glass has gained so much growth after the hurricane (power outage), but it does not venture to the rocks, sand or inhibit coral growth. Along with macroalgaes and algae in general, corals will also compete for nutrients and help to alleviate nuisance algae growth. Although Red Slime Remover worked for you, I would be wary of using such chemicals often and plan on performing a water change afterwards.
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