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Old 08-25-2005, 07:54 PM   #1
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anybody's advice on algae fight

Okay, I've about had it...I've been fighting hair algae and cyano in my 20Long for over a year now. It all started when I went on vacation only to return and find algae everywhere. Details....

20 long tank with 30-35lbs LR
prizm deluxe skimmer w/surface skimmer
fluval 204 canister w/GAC, Seachem phosguard and 2 foam pads
175 MH w/ a brand new XM 15K lamp, 2x55watt PC actinics, 1 LED moonlight
1 hagen 402 powerhead

inhabitants...1 tank raised ocellaris clown
1 emerald crab, 1 CB shrimp, 1 crocea clam, 1 huge sinularia finger leather, 1 favia brain coral, 1 lobophyllia brain, 1 polyp rock, several small cabbage leathers, 1 toadstool leather, about 15-20 snails, about 5-7 hermits.


I've scrubbed the rock several times, I even moved into a new house and completely removed the rock and brushed all the algae off. Water tests show little to no nitrate and/or phosphate, I run phosguard in the canister. I've been using RO water from the beginning.
When we moved the and I cleaned all the rocks it looked like I might be winning the war, but looking at my tank today, it seems as though the hair algae is slowly growing back and the sandbed is quickly becoming covered in what I believe to be cyano(some kind of reddish-brown algae that is growing in sheets) Is there anything else I can do?? Somebody tell me I'm missing something here. I want to upgrade to a larger 45-55 gallon tank but I don't want all this algae to go along into it. TIA
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Old 08-25-2005, 09:49 PM   #2
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Old 08-25-2005, 10:00 PM   #3
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Are you running media in the fluval? What is the tank turnover (10-20x?)? What is your source water? Are you running a fuge? What do you feed? Do you drain the water of frozen foods?

If you're able to detect PO4 & No3 then you need address that first. Where are those coming from? Until you eliminate those there will be no winning the war.
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Old 08-26-2005, 12:23 AM   #4
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Source water is RO mixed with Kent Reef salt, I'm not running a fuge, that may be the next option. I feed frozen food that I put in saltwater from the tank and slowly add back to the tank. Feeding is every other day to sometimes every 2 days. In the fluval is GAC, phosguard, prefilter things and 2 sponge pads. As far as turnover, I have just added a second power head so between 2 powerheads and the filter return I have plenty of flow.
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Old 08-26-2005, 12:37 AM   #5
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well I would say get more snails that worked for me but it looks like you have tons already.
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Old 08-26-2005, 01:36 AM   #6
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I am doing what Hara told me to do and my cyano has quickly gone within a week.

1) Shut off all the lights for a week
2) Feed every other day
3) Do a 20-25% water change twice during the week w/ RO/DI water
4) Run phosphate sponge and reef carbon in your canister filter
5) leave blinds on nearby windows a little open so your fish get some ambient light. Not so much that the light falls directly on the tank.

This should work. I saw changes within a week of doing these steps.
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Old 08-26-2005, 02:58 AM   #7
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I have been battling some green algae (hair algae) in the tank for a few months. Not as bad as yours it sounds but just a few weeks ago, I read about normal temperatures and that I should probably keep things around 80 deg. I had been maintaining 82-84 which apparently some algae will grow best in.

Anyway, since dropping my temp and no other changes, things have started to receed after a couple of weeks.

I also just added a SeaHare (read they are good algae eaters) and he seems to be devouring the algae much faster than any snails and crabs. He is a bit of a bulldozer though knocking some stuff over. He is really cleaning up the rocks though. Carefull on the species, may be too large for you 20g. I have a 33g and it seems to small for the SeaHare.

Hope you start winning the battle soon!
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:24 AM   #8
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Well, I'm going to add more snails and keep up with water changes. I'm afraid to go without lights for a week with the clam in the tank. Also, I've considered the temp but with a 175MH over the 20 gallon tank its difficult to keep the temp under 81-82F. I've also thought about adding a sump and fuge but if I don't want to do anything to drastic since I'm now considering a larger tank. Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-26-2005, 10:00 PM   #9
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yeah if you have any photosynthetic inverts in there. go without the lights
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30 gallon SW tank;EHEIM ECCO 2235 Canister Filter w/Miracle-Working Chemi-Pure
TetraTec UV1 UV Sterilizer;Rio 50 Powerhead ;130w PC lighting;33 Lbs. of Tonga Branch LR;Nature's Ocean Live Sand (the bagged stuff)
Livestock:2-Ocellaris Clownfish;9-Scarlet Reef Hermit Crabs;1-Regal Tang;Zoanthids, Pineapple Brain coral, Sebae Anemone, Colt Coral, Galaxea
Tank Specs as of December 29, 2005:Ammonia:0;Nitrite: 0;Nitrate=0;Cu:0
PH: 8.3
SG: 1.028;Temp: 79-84 degrees F (Adjusts throughout the day)
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:35 PM   #10
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I just went through an algae battle myself. Finally I dragged the dude from the lfs over to my house and showed him what was going on. He recomended a product called "Rowa". Now this crap is super expensive but after adding it my canister, the algae started to literally fall or the rocks.For the price of this stuff (70 bucks for a container the size of a coffee cup) it should work by just placing it in the same room as the tank, however, it did a fantastic job on the algae. If all else fails give it a try.
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