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Old 10-22-2005, 07:50 PM   #31
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I agree get your water straight first and then get a lawnmower blenny. I would take a tooth brush and rubber band it on the end of my hose that I did water changes with and while I was taking water out I would gently scrub rock and suck up the loose algea. After a few water changes a week for a while you would see some results. Also you need to feed your tank every other day. I`ve been doing this for many years with no signs of algea. 1) Stop feeding the algea 2) Harvest exsisting hair algea 3) Get a lawnmower blenny and of course this is IMO

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Old 10-23-2005, 07:23 AM   #32
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I would agree that if there are water chemistry problems the addition of algae eating live stock is not a cure but.....what I thought was a hair algae problem in my tank was no more than a weeks worth of grazing for the yellow tang.

Since then hair algae is not a concern. There is going to be some algae in a aquarium not matter what. If the algae begins to grow faster than a reasonable size clean up crews/fish can take care of it then its time to start looking at water chemistry problems

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Old 10-23-2005, 11:38 AM   #33
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I had a lawn ( better than my front yard ) growing in my tank for quite some time after I rebuilt it due to meltdown. I use ro/di water, U.V, skimmer the whole works and nothing helped. Phosphates always tested zero, Than a buddy at the lfs told me to put some "Rowa" in my cannister. This stuff worked wonders. After two weeks I could vacuum the algea off the rock and it all dissapeared. I am still amazed how well it worked, however this stuff is seriously expensive, 100 bucks for the large container, but after 6 or 7 grand into a tank, whats another 100? Anyways try it , it worked for me.
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Old 10-23-2005, 01:49 PM   #34
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Let me throw in my 2 cents - since this thread isn't long enough yet I've been Pat Battling phosphates for a couple months. Reading through this thread, I've got to disagree with a few things. IMO lr absolutely CAN leach PO4. I tested my water, getting 1.0ppm and then tested water near a rock and got >2ppm. Rocks, I believe, absorb po4 and leach it back into your water. They will burn it off eventually but that is what makes fighting PO4 so difficult. You just need to export it by removing hair algae manually, and doing pwc.

Also, Firworks just mentioned running "Rowa" in his canister eventhough he was testing po4 at 0. I'm assuming he means "ROWAphos", which is just a phosphate remover - just to clarify. It will reduce po4, but I believe that's all it really does. If PO4 is not your problem, I'm assuming ROWAphos will not help. (Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).

I'm now running Phosban (rowaphos competitor), bought chaeto, got a lawnmower blenny - already had a yellow tang (neither touches my hair algae), using ro/di water, removing hair algae manually every day, down to 6 hours of light a day, and doing frequent partial water changes, added 30 more snails/hermits and I still have 0.2ppm PO4 and hair algae. It's a tough battle and I believe it is due to the rocks leaching phosphates - just an opinion. I would say take everyone's advice and be ready for a fight. Absolutely check your PO4. Buy a test kit to see where you stand. This is really a must. Test your tank and your ro/di water (also test water near your rocks). I was using RO/DI water and thought I was safe until I tested it and was dumping 0.5ppm PO4 into my tank with every change and top off. My DI resin needed to be shaken up (it was clumped on one end). Didn't need to change it - just mix it up. Now getting 0ppm.

In closing, I wouldn't recommend buying any livestock - some lawnmowers and tangs won't touch the stuff anyway, especially if its already out of control. Find out where you are PO4-wise, make sure your ro/di is reading 0 PO4, remove as much as possible daily, and do frequent pwc to get that PO4 down - and be prepared for a long battle if your PO4 is high.

HTH - sorry for the long post

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Old 10-24-2005, 02:30 PM   #35
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Great post Skinnypete. I wan't to 'tweak' it a little.

LR doesn't actually 'leach'. What happens is that LR and most sands are made of CaCO3 and phosphates naturally adsorb (chemically bond) to it. Then the good-guys that perform Nitrification for us engage in their 'bad habit'. Their bad habit is that they always want more phosphates (P) than they currently have. They don't have mouths so they use enzymes to literally dissolve the P right off the rock and sand. Unfortunately, bacteria measure their lives in hours, not days or years. Once they die, any P they contain becomes bio-available to other bacteria, re-adsorbing to CaCO3, or food for algae. (Luckily, it's usually other bacteria). This is why it's usually impossible to test for P. Only after all other sinks are 'full' can P be tested for in the water column.

Have you ever turkey basted your rocks and thought to yourself, "There is NO WAY that my fish have pooped that much on my rocks"? You would be correct. This detritus is produced by the bacteria that live in your rocks and if you don't have sufficient flow, you better be turkey basting to remove it as it is supernutritious for algae. LR won't burn off PO4 in any system that continues to have other P inputs (i.e. a tank). The only way to reduce it is to perform a process called "cooking". Cooking works well but is a lot of work and it takes quite some time.

You never see posts like, "I can't stop hair algae from growing on my powerheads". Even though there are the same bacteria there and they also die and release P, the quantities of bacteria are MUCH smaller because they can only live in a biofilm on the surface. Additionally, powerheads are smooth and it is much harder for an algae spores to attach (unlike LR).

Just like the Nitrogen Cycle, the Phosphate Cycle is going on 24/7. If you don't want algae problems, it is imperative that one minimizes P inputs and maximizes P exports 24/7 too.

The cool thing about algae, is that it tells you where your primary problem is. If you have hair algaes and/or cyanobacteria on your sandbed but none on your LR, that's where your problem is. Have hair algae on your rock but none on your sandbed, that's where your primary problem is. BTW...if you have algaes growing on your powerheads, you have waaaay too many P inputs and/or too few P exports.
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Old 10-24-2005, 05:10 PM   #36
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Holy phosphates, Batman. That was a great explanation, MantisFreak. Thanks.

So, in addition to everything else, water changes, manual removal, etc....turkey basting the rocks will help to minimize the growth? Turkey basting how? Blowing off, or sucking up?

I'd like to think of this as "adding" to the thread rather than hijacking it
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Old 10-24-2005, 07:02 PM   #37
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As long as you have decent flow and a good protein skimmer, blasting that detritus off your rock is fine. If not, start a siphon and vacuum.

Additionally, manual removal can be problematic if you have a lot of P on your rocks. Algaes are sessile so they can't exactly run away when a 'predator' attacks them. They have come up with a number of defenses to ensure survival. Some of them incorporate toxins that are triggered once grazing occurs (ex. Caulerpas). Others incorporate calcium in their thallus to make it more difficult to graze. (ex. Caterpillar algae). Some do both. (ex. Halimeda). Others merely sporulate or fragment and send 'babies' in the current when grazing occurs. (ex. most hair algaes). If you have no choice but to manually remove while the rock remains in the tank, your problem will be around for a shorter period of time if you are running a siphon into a filter sock to catch fragments that are released when pulling. If this is not feasible with your system, after your next waterchange, grab a rock...put it in the bucket with the old saltwater, pull there, and then rinse with fresh saltwater before returning the rock to the tank. You'll get there either way, but it's quicker if HA isn't starting to grow in new places in the mean time.

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algea, hair

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