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Old 01-04-2012, 10:51 PM   #1
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Corralline Algae growth

I'm having the hardest time growing Corralline Algae. About 2 months ago, I noticed small spots on the walls of my 75g Hexagon tank. I even saw some spots on a few pieces of my live rock. I went on vacation for a week (Thanksgiving) and returned to a tank full of Red Slime algae. I did an immediate water change (appx 40gallons), added some API algae remover, treated it daily for about 2weeks. The red slime came back. I went out and bought a RO unit to clean my water up BEFORE adding it to the tank. A month later, the red slime is somewhat under control, but I have lost every bit of my Corralline. I went out and bought an API Reef testing kit, and found out that my Calcium level is 300ppm, KH is 9, and my Phosphate level is .25ppm. I realize that inproving the Calcium is my top priority, and decreasing the phosphate is right behind that. I have part 1 and part 2 of Ocean's Blend that I will be adding to my tank daily. To all those that grow Corralline, how long can I expect to see some growth once the above parameters are within range?

pH: 8.3
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrate: 0ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
KH: 9 (or 161.1 ppm)
Phosphate: .25ppm
Calcium: 300ppm
Sp. Gravity: 1.0255
Temp: 80degrees

75g Hex tank with 10g refugium. Approximately 80-90lbs of live rock.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:21 PM   #2
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Coraline algae needs calcium to grow...I'd aim closer to 400. Also, if you have some rocks with it on it already, gently take a toothbrush to get some of the spores out into the water and they will take over from there.

I seeded my tank originally when I brought coral frags home. Some of them came on nice pieces of rock that had coraline all over them. It helped.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank
Coraline algae needs calcium to grow...I'd aim closer to 400. Also, if you have some rocks with it on it already, gently take a toothbrush to get some of the spores out into the water and they will take over from there.

I seeded my tank originally when I brought coral frags home. Some of them came on nice pieces of rock that had coraline all over them. It helped.
Thanks... I just purchased some Corals yeaterday and there was some on the bottom side of the rock. I will try your method and continue to get my Calcium level up. I checked it again this morning (10hours after I added the suppliments) and the level is still at 300. My Phosphate, however, is well below .25 now. The tank parameters are moving into the right direction, but I guess it's going to be a slow process to get above 400 on the Calcium. Just to get an idea, about how long is "normal" before I start to see an increase? Its a 90gallon Hexagon tank with about 80-90lbs of live rock. Other parameters are in my original posting.

Tim
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:55 AM   #4
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What salt are you using and how often are you doing water changes? The salt mix should start you off a bit higher than 300 as far as calcium.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:52 AM   #5
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What salt are you using and how often are you doing water changes? The salt mix should start you off a bit higher than 300 as far as calcium.
I don't recall the name brand right off hand. I know that it's not Red Sea Salt(on the expensive side). I do my water changes (appx 10g) every other week. When I get home, I will make a note to see the Calcium ppm of the brand that I am using. Thanks for your input.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:12 AM   #6
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I had the same problem (low calcium) when i decided to get my tank ready for corals. I remember being a bit shocked and glad i tested it when the results came up at 280. When i started up and didn't really know any better......I was using some salt that was on clearance from Petco.

Carey is right......the salt mix should give you a higher base than the 300. I use IO reef crystals and it usually measures at 440 after being mixed for at least 5hrs.

FWIW...I recently added another 30lbs of live rock that was way down in someones 125g reef tank about 3-4 weeks ago, so it didn't have any coraline algae on it. Maintaining an average CA of 420, those rocks are starting to get the purple algae now. It's probably about a silver dollar size on 2 of the 3 rocks. It's more spread out on the 3rd.

I would say 3-4 weeks and it'll pop up then. Providing ample light and CA levels.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:36 AM   #7
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In my own experience coralline algea should still grow with a calcium lvl of 300. There may be another factor. The red slime defenetly didn't help. And if your lvl isnt changing after adding supplements. There's a good chance your adding it incorrectly, what brand are you using
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:57 AM   #8
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In my own experience coralline algea should still grow with a calcium lvl of 300. There may be another factor. The red slime defenetly didn't help. And if your lvl isnt changing after adding supplements. There's a good chance your adding it incorrectly, what brand are you using
You're probably right about that, but it would take forever at that level.

...and in my experience, it took about a week for the levels to go up and stabilize when adding CA supplements (using recommended daily dosage).
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqasnatch
In my own experience coralline algea should still grow with a calcium lvl of 300. There may be another factor. The red slime defenetly didn't help. And if your lvl isnt changing after adding supplements. There's a good chance your adding it incorrectly, what brand are you using
I'm using a substance made from Ocean's Blend part one (Calcium) and part two (pH/Alkalinity). This had worked in the past for me so I know that it will work again. I was just going by the dosing requirements without knowledge of its importance. When i came back from vacation, I never added another drop into my tank until a month and a half later. As far as lighting, i have a metal halide lamp that can light up the moon lol.
About 4 weeks i can expect to notice some growth huh Providing my levels are within the respective parameters. I cant wait until I get home and see an increase(crossing fingers).
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:04 PM   #10
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what's the wattage on the MH? lighting cycle time?

Why did you stop adding the calcium to being with?

Those types of things (CA Levels) need to remain consistent, so don't start and stop like that. I check my CA every other day, but I'm a little obsessive.
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