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Old 04-10-2005, 10:29 PM   #1
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Green Algae

I recently returned from a few day vacation to find my 450 gallon tank had turned cloudy and green on me. The water was actually starting to look pretty clear-this tank finished cycling about a month and a half ago.

I still plan on getting a protein skimmer and UV sterilizer for this system. I am sure the UV sterilizer would have prevented or at least suppressed the free-floating green algae which I am now faced with.

Since I do not have the protein skimmer or UV sterilizer yet does anyone have any advice on how I can get this tank looking clear again. All of my parameters seem to be pretty good. Nitrates are around 30 ppm. Phosphates are below 1 ppm. There there are very few fish in this tank as well as 380 pounds of live rock.

Please give me any advice you may have. Also, which of the protein skimmer or UV sterilizer would you guys get first if you had to choose.

As always, thanks for your input and advice.

Pete R.
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450g Acrylic FOWLR
380 lbs. of Live Rock
1 Yellow Tang, 1 Mono, 1 Blue Angel, 1 Foxface Lo, 1 Lunare Wrasse, 1 Snowflake Eel

1x Dolphin AS2100
1x Dolphin AM4700
72" Aqualight Pro: 4x96 Actinic, 3x150 HQI Halides, 4x1 moonlights
AquaC EV-1000 Protein Skimmer run by Dolphin AS2100
AquaUV 114 watt UV Sterilizer
2x Jager 250w
...Work in progess.....
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Old 04-13-2005, 03:00 AM   #2
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I'd go for the protein skimmer. It's more immediately needed. The skimmer will help with lowering the nitrate and that in turn will help slow down the algae growth. Use reef hermits and cerith snails to help eat what you can't get to by hand. If you are using tap water, you may want to consider using R/O water. The algae can be from the accumilation of nitrates you have. Work on getting that down by doing small, but frequent water changes, cutting back on feeding and using something like De Nitrate in your filter to help absorb excess nitrate.

How do you fit a 450 gallon tank??? I'd love to have a system that big to put together...for myself...lol.
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Old 04-13-2005, 08:25 AM   #3
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Have you done any water tests? It would be helpful to know your water parameters (Nitrates, etc).

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Old 04-13-2005, 08:44 AM   #4
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Carbon may help clear the water up some too... I don't run a skimmer (yet) either.
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Old 04-13-2005, 11:18 AM   #5
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Just as Asaint suggested it would be helpful to know your water parameters via testing. Although here is where the main portion of your problem is

"72" Aqualight Pro: 4x96 Actinic, 3x150 HQI MH, 4x1 moonlights"

Even though that is far less wattage per gallon then you would need for a successful reef it is no doubt going to grow some fine green algae. The good news is green algae is not a bad thing whatsoever. Your yellow tang no doubt would enjoy some to dine on, as well as a variety of reef critters.

I would not really recommend a UV sterilozer for a reef tank. Mainly since algae growth in the reef tank is not only natural but in my opinion desirable. It can be a serious eye sore but in the end a mag float or any compatable scraper can take it off enough to make the aquarium still pleasing.

I am assuming with the light profile you are planning on making this tank a working reef ... I cant imagine someone putting halides over a fish only tank. In that case keeping your algae growth supressed by cleaning the glass, etc etc is likely the most healthy option of a reef. I would be concerned that a UV sterilozer would harm positive macro algae growth as well as the impending corralline algae growth, both are very important to a successful reef tank.

A good protien skimmer will remove a good portion of the free floating algae, since a protien skimmer removed dissolved organics and algae fits that bill. I would suggest for you protien skimmer wise is one of Aqua C's in sump models (there is a good variety) or if you prefer the hang on back option run several CPR Bak Paks.

Another helpful addition to combating algae growth is a Lawnmower Blenny. These guys are hard wired to eat algae and they do non stop.
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Old 05-04-2005, 09:46 AM   #6
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I do not think that I was that clear in my original post. The green algae problem I mentioned was free floating. The water was so green I could not see the fish or the rock in the tank. The walls of the tank were not bad.

Anyway, I installed a PS and UV and the tank went from horrible to crystal clear in a metter of a few days. I think the combination of the 2 was the reason. While the UV zapped all the algae the PS produce tons of green goop.

Just thought I'd report my findings.

Cheers,
Pete R.
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450g Acrylic FOWLR
380 lbs. of Live Rock
1 Yellow Tang, 1 Mono, 1 Blue Angel, 1 Foxface Lo, 1 Lunare Wrasse, 1 Snowflake Eel

1x Dolphin AS2100
1x Dolphin AM4700
72" Aqualight Pro: 4x96 Actinic, 3x150 HQI Halides, 4x1 moonlights
AquaC EV-1000 Protein Skimmer run by Dolphin AS2100
AquaUV 114 watt UV Sterilizer
2x Jager 250w
...Work in progess.....
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