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Old 01-27-2013, 12:30 PM   #1
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Big Problems

My reef tank of 75 gallons has been set up and running for about 7 years. At one time it was in great shape and beautiful with about 13 different corals. It has been moved twice. As time went on, the condition of the tank started to fall as it became increasingly more difficult to take care of it. About a year ago, every thing in the tank died except for my 2 clown fish that I've had since day 1 and a Zenia coral. Bristle worms were coming out of every crevice and dying. Aphasia which is hard enough to control was dropping dead. I also lost a yellow tang. Ever since this event I have been losing the battle. Algie is out of control and no matter how much I remove and how often I change the water, it comes back within a few days. I'm not over feeding and I only have the two Clowns. My question is at this point what are my options. Should I find a new home for my beloved clowns and start over, losing the Zenia coral? Do I black out the tank, keeping the fish and losing the Zenia?
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:34 PM   #2
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Tell us a bit more about the tank...

Are you using RODI Water?

What is your maintenance schedule?

What are your nitrates testing at?

What is your PO4 testing at?

What kind of lighting do you have?

Are you skimming?

Are you dosing anything?

Are you running carbon, GFO, or calcium reactors?
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:26 PM   #3
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Sounds like what some call old tank syndrome.. basically over the years nutrients build up in the sand bed and eventually start to leach out which will cause algae outbreaks ..... How deep is your substrate and what kind.....
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:47 PM   #4
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Skimming
Lights 440 Watt Old School VHO setup
Declorinated Tap water
Not dosing anything
Running Carbon Premium Charcoal
4 to 5 inch sand bed
Haven't tested anything lately. I'm sure my levels are bad but there is no explanation for it.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:57 PM   #5
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The tap water sends a red flag and we need water test results to help you further...
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:17 PM   #6
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Tap water could be an issue - especially over years of use. How often do you do water changes and how much each time?

If your water parameters are bad, that is contributing to algae. PO4 and NO3 can both cause algae issues. If they are out of whack, they would need to be solved.

When is the last time you replaced the bulbs in your fixtures?
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:09 PM   #7
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Could definitely be a copper buildup from your pipes. They add copper to boat hull paint to keep corals and barnacles from building up because it's toxic to them.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:58 PM   #8
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7 years of tap-water would be my first guess as the problem as well.... tap contains a lot of bad stuff, particularly metals like copper from your pipes. While it may be in minute quantities, it accumulates over time. If you've aiptasia dropping dead, you've got problems.......
If it were mine, I'd start over from scratch, and use only RODI water. If you want to keep the clowns, set up a small FOWLR (29g would work) to temporarily house them while re-doing the tank.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:04 PM   #9
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I would invest in a RO/DI unit, do some big water changes, pull out as much algea as you can, look into getting a reactor and start running HC GFO to bring down PO4 and replace every 2 weeks, may want to start running some ROX.08 carbon as well in a reactor and change it out every few weeks to reduce any DOC that have built up over time.
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