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Old 06-30-2004, 07:04 AM   #1
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Liverock, algae, and lighting

Tank specs first:

110 gallon
65x4 w PCs
~40lb LR from liverock.com
~60lb baserock
3-6 inch DSB
RO/DI water

All tests are normal using a fresh kit (salinity, PO4, Ca, NO3, NH3, KH, NO2, Fe) except pH, which is a little low (7.8-8.0).

I set up my tank about two months ago with just saltwater, a sandbed, and some base rock, and I seeded the sand about a month ago. I pretty much just left the lights off. Last week I put 40lbs of liverock in the tank and since then I have left the lights on every day for about 12 hours. In the last 3 days I have had a huge outbreak of brown algae (or diatomes, not sure which) that has covered the sandbed and the rock.

I have been leaving the lights on because the rock had beautiful coralline on it and I didn't want it to die off. What should I do? If I cut back on lighting will the coralline suffer? Will the brown algae kill off the good algae on the rock?

The cleanup crew (snails, crabs, stars) arrives tomorrow and hopefully they'll take care of the situation. Odd that I have such a large algae problem and I don't even have any fish yet.

TIA
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Old 06-30-2004, 11:27 AM   #2
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If it's just diatoms, I wouldn't be too concerned. Algaes need two things to grow, light and nutrient. Since there has been no light up to now, there's been no way for the nutrient to be used up unless doing repeated water changes with RO.

There will always be some sort of bloom when the tank first gets going. It just depends on how mild or severe. The coralline should not really be hindered at all by diatoms in the short term. I would wait and see what your clean up crew can do after a weeks time. Chances are you won't need to do anything else.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 06-30-2004, 02:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
All tests are normal using a fresh kit
What do you mean by fresh kit? Are you refering to it as a new saltwater test kit or a fresh kit meaning a freshwater kit?
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Old 06-30-2004, 02:57 PM   #4
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I don't think you need to be lighting the tank for 12 hrs a day just yet.
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Old 06-30-2004, 05:06 PM   #5
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What do you mean by fresh kit? Are you refering to it as a new saltwater test kit or a fresh kit meaning a freshwater kit?
Sorry for the misrepresentation. A saltwater test kit that I just purchased a week ago. Hagen, and it states it expires in 2007.

I think I'll try leaving the lights on for only 6 hours at a time and I'll see what happens. Just got the cleanup crew today so hopefully that works out.
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Old 06-30-2004, 05:16 PM   #6
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You can also try running lights for 4 hours, off for 2 hours, back on 4 hours. Algae is very sensitive to photo periods, so by programming a siesta, it should interfere with the algae growth. (at least this works in freshwater planted tanks)
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Old 06-30-2004, 06:08 PM   #7
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As your tank cycles/matures it will go thru diatom, then red algae, then green algae. Diatom is no big deal it general clears on its own. The others....lol Welcome to the aggravation of a new tank....
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Old 07-01-2004, 02:50 AM   #8
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Thanks for the advice. Hopefully it's not cyano.
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Old 07-06-2004, 03:28 PM   #9
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I went through the same thing a few years ago with a 75 gal tank. The "clean-up crew" arrived and all was solved for me in a few days.
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