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Old 09-22-2013, 08:51 PM   #1
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Case of the uglies

I have a case of the uglies that has popped up in my 28 gallon nano cube over the last few weeks. The tank has been up and running since Nov/Dev of 2012, so it's coming up on 1 year old.

I'm getting an outbreak of green hair algae on my rocks as well as a bit of slime algae on the sand bed. Phosphates, Nitrates, Nitrates and ammonia all read at 0. I realize I must have nitrates and/or phosphates due to the presence of the slime/hair algae, but I'd think I would see a reading above 0.

I do my best to vacuum up nasties on the top of the sand bed during water changes, and I've run an aqua c remora skimmer with a maxijet skimmer since day one. I also threw an MP10 in a few weeks ago (set really low) to get some additional flow in the tank.

Water changes, I do 5 gallons every 1-2 weeks and have since the tank cycle was "over"

I've done big cleanings on the return pumps and the skimmer in the last two weeks. The skimmer hasn't produced any skimmate in over a week now when set to the lowest level. (clean water?)

The water looks clear, and I do run a bag of chemipure (which I changed about a month ago)

As for what has changed. Well, I got my Yellow Watchman Goby a friend (tiger pistol shrimp) about two months ago. It took them about 3 weeks to pair up. Since then, the pistol has been very busy rearranging the tank to his liking. I'm fine with that. At this point, about the only reason I can come up with as to why this is happening is Mr. Pistol Shrimp disturbing the sand bed as much as he has.

So if this is the case, what would you do? Heavier water changes? Remember, my numbers read 0, so in theory, one could say my water is relatively "clean", right? What about waiting it out? If this is some sort of mini-cycle, the bio filter should catch up at some point, right?

In the meantime, the fish and corals seem just fine. My Aussie Scoly is a wee bit pissed at the additional flow, so I have the MP10 on the timer with my lights (noon-5pm now to give less light to the algae), which it seems to be cool with.

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

-greg
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:16 PM   #2
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Other than vacuuming up the surface of the sand bed have you stirred it up at all in the last year?
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:12 PM   #3
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Other than nassarius/cerith snails doing their thing, I haven't done any manual stirring of the sand.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:06 PM   #4
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I've been staring at the tank some more and it occurred to me, the zoas which are on the top rocks have gotten really long stalks. Some upwards of 2.5-3 inches. The natural conclusion is they aren't getting enough light. I replaced the original bulb in May (at 5-6 months old). Maybe I have a bad bulb. They have started "reaching" in the last couple of months, as well.

I've wanted to look into a lighting upgrade, so the guy at my LFS is helping me find a good four bulb T5 fixture to drop in. I had a bit of a bad experience with LEDs in my SPS tank, so I'm shying away from them for now.
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