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Old 05-11-2012, 02:25 PM   #1
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Unhappy Brown Algae in tank

Hi have been reading in the forum about brown algae. It is on my glass and some on the sand. Also on my wave maker and the tube the goes up to the trickle filter. I am wondering about this. I have seen on the glass little bit of purple color. Also the brown, and seem to see what looks like string algae which I physically remove. I have a 90 gallon tank and have some crabs hoping they will help. They seem to be some lazy crabs. I have a no RO/Di but plan on getting one, I also have a protein skimmer. On one post regarding this algae issue someone mentioned to remove the filter material from the filter. Is this correct?? My counts are ok, but had a prob with nitrates. It is down to 5. It was alot higher. Been doing weekly water changes about 25% in a 90 gallon tank. All other counts r great. So what can I do, I read it will go away eventually on it's own with the water changes. Don't want to put in a tang yet, as I heard that they will not allow any new fish into the tank after they are introduced. What I have in the tank is the blue green chromies, a trigger fish, a sweet lips (who is a pig, just loves to eat whatever you put into the tank, yes I know he will get big) a Maroon Clown, and an eel that we hardly every see. I had a crab and never see him either. I assume and I can put more fish in a 90 gallon tank, but been waiting for awhile. Oh the tank has been up 2 months about. Thanks for any help.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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Pictures would help

Yes that sweetlips will get big, they should be in about 250-300 gallon tanks.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:12 PM   #3
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Yes I know the sweet lips will get big. When he does he will be up for adoption. Until that time we will enjoy him. He is a great fish, very active and eats like a pig.
So what about the algae issue. Not sure about putting pictures up, my camera is not working well, and my cell phone not sure how to load the pictures using my cell phone, I will try and post pictures of it thanks
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:55 AM   #4
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hey,

Sounds like diatoms to me.

Your tank is pretty new. 2 months you said.

how long did you cycle it before adding fish?

I had diatoms on my rock and sand in my 800g tank. It's almost completely gone now . I cycled my tank for almost 2 months due to the large water volume and have over 600 lbs of live rock.

I would suggest a clean up crew ( crabs, snails, urchins) .

Go to reefcleaners.org and read about diatoms and the specific creatures to clean that stuff up.

Post up some pics too that always helps identify the issue!

Good luck
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:20 PM   #5
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Ya pics would definitely help. I wouldn't add anymore fish to your tank. What type of trigger is it? It probably needs a 125. What is your lighting schedule?
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:06 PM   #6
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Diatoms are the result of nutrients. You have nitrates what are your phosphates. Also diatoms feed off silicates in the water. If your using tap then that is your first problem that should be addressed. Any kind of filter material in a reef tank is a no no for the most part. It just trapped nutrients instead of removing them which is the job of your skimmer by removing organics before they can break down into nitrates and phosphates. Your second and primary means of removal is water changes with 0 TDS RO/DI.

Trying to fixed a problem without going to the source is never going to get you anywhere.

Nutrient Sources:
Water
Fish
Food

You have a nutrient problem, mixed with the fact your tank is new and heavily stocked for a new tank.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:44 PM   #7
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Hi thanks for the info. So no filter media in the trickle filter, is that what I read??I am ordering a RO/DI that is for sure and will use that to do water changes. We do not heavily feed the fish, every other day. Only what they can eat and no more. We change the water every week. Our PH and other readings are ok. Just a little nitrates 5 is what it was last week. Doing a water change again. We do have the filter running all the time and a wave maker. Also running is a protein skimmer. I am ordering what they call the clean up crew. So hopefully this will clean up, it isn't that bad. mainly on the glass. A little on the sand by the edge of the glass. Thank you for your help.
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:03 AM   #8
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Remove the trickle filter completely. All you need is live rock and your skimmer. Other filter types trap organics and completely undermine the skimmers job of actually removing organics. Filters involving any kind of floss or packed media are defeating the point of a skimmer and it is most likely the reason for your nitrates.

Remove the trickle if you have sufficient live rock. Do a big water change and siphon your sandbed removing any debris algae or cyano. After this do weekly 10% changes and your problem will melt away in a few weeks time.

Those trapped nutrients is whats causing your problem.
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Old 05-15-2012, 11:34 AM   #9
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:08 PM   #10
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Wow I have always used a filter in my tanks, of course they where fresh water. I cleaned the filter out, leaving some I guess call it dirt. My tank was getting very dirty looking, water wise. It has cleaned up a lot running the filter. It was off for a few days. Wow you don't need a trickle filter. Amazing. I will do that and will siphon the bottom of the tank. I need to get a new siphon, but I found a few on ebay. Thanks for your help
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