Originally Posted by bpeitzke
Our nitrate readings are holding steady at 5ppm. Water is city supply, not well. LFS
guy told us not to worry, that all new tanks go through a brown algae phase in the 2-4 month time-frame. He said eventually it will be replaced by green algae, which more things eat.
For the most part what the LFS
has told you is true but the algae growth and it's "staying" power will greatly depend on how pure the city water is. Most contain certain elements like phosphate, silicates and other contaminates not harmful to us really but are great fuel sources for unwanted algeas. If these levels are high (determined via testing) then the use of the above mentioned "sponges" would help.
We have only 5 snails; thinking of getting say 5 more. Are turbos or bumblebees good? If not, what? Don't want to get more of the astraea's, as they can't self-right, and are a PITA.
Agreed on the Astrea's
. I personally wouldn't give 2˘ for them. Turbo snails can be a good choice but be aware they do get large and rather cumbersome. They can/will knock unsecured items over. Some different suggestions would be a good combination of >>nerites
<< and >>cerith
for algae control and some >>nassarius
<< for the sand bed, detritus and uneaten foods. The bumblebee's are an attractive looking snail but are mainly carnivorous and will mainly stick to carion which will not help your problem.
Would macro-algaes help consume the phosphates and keep the tank in balance? Seems like they might add visual interest to the tank.
Macro algaes would indeed help quite a bit with improving water quality but you may wish to opt for a HOB
refugium or a seperate smaller refugium connected to the main tank. Macros tend to get "embeded" easily in the system and can very quickly become a nuisance. They are much easier to control if seperate from the main tank.