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Old 07-16-2008, 04:26 PM   #1
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Coraline Algae will not grow!

I have a 300 gallon reef tank that has been established for 7 years and I cannot get coraline algae to grow.
There is a wet-dry filter, 3 large powerheads, metal halide lighting, +400 lbs of live rock, countless inverts, 16 fish...

I have tried putting coraline encrusted rocks in the tank, purple up, reef chemicals, etc. I feel like it's hopeless!

If you have any tricks or tips they would be greatly, greatly appreciated.

Here are my water parameters:
pH: 8.3
NO2: 0.3 ppm
NO3: 20 ppm
KH: 130 ppm
Ca: 400 ppm
PO4: 2.5 ppm
Salinity: 1.023
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
PO4: 2.5 ppm
Are you sure that's right? Phosphate can inhibit calcification and if it's that high I wouldn't be suprised if you have micro algae problems too. Recommended level for phosphate is around 0.05...or lower.
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:25 PM   #3
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Really just a guess here but if its a fish only you probably just have minimal lighting. Maybe the coraline needs more lights to grow? I know it needs some light because it never grows on the bottom side of my rocks or anything.

edit: opps scratch what i just said. re-read the post and its a reef with MH. no idea sorry
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:11 PM   #4
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Pat, coraline is actually a low light loving algae. My grew best when all I had was 40w NO bulbs.

That PO4 reading is quite high and as CCCAPT said it could be the problem.
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:16 PM   #5
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Tap water perhaps? Might want to check for silicates too if you or your local fs have a test for them. Sounds like a job for GFO but I would suggest going slow with it, building up gradually since your eco-world has probably become accustomed to it.

bulkreefsupply has good stuff at a great price, and at 300 gallons.. Well you'll need bulk
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:03 PM   #6
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Yep. I'd also recommmend testing your tap for phosphates.

Research RO/DI systems. 300 gallon reef? A requirement IMO.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:43 PM   #7
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Thanks for all of your help. I always use RO water and I just tested the PO4 from the unit and it is reading 0. I only had 20 gallons of RO last night and I did a water change with that ... today the PO4 is reading 0.5. Hopefully I can keep it this low and finally get some coraline to grow. Also, I have tons of green hair algae and my inverts don't seem to be getting to all of it. Besides removing it by hand do you have any suggestions? (Besides hair algae eating fish)
Thanks again guys!
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:51 PM   #8
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If it's not your water then next place to look is the type and how much you feed. GFO will help reduce it but not address where it's coming from. Though honestly if it's from over feeding I'd expect your nitrates to be higher (they are somewhat high btw too).

Might want to consider ditching the bioballs and going sump/ref instead. Generally 16 fish in 300 gallons with 400 LR shoud cover you. Put some LR rubble in the sump/ref if you go that route.

Sorry we kinda strayed from the original question
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
I did a water change with that ... today the PO4 is reading 0.5
Quote:
I have tons of green hair algae and my inverts don't seem to be getting to all of it.
You are reading 0.5 because the hair algea is taking it all up. You need to run some GFO to remove the food source (phosphate) from the algae. Take away the food source and it, the hair algae, dies.
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:22 PM   #10
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yeah, I have a sump w/o bio balls and a ref. I'll keep working on it..thanks guys!
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