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Old 08-29-2003, 04:20 PM   #1
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Major Algae Outbreak - Help!

I was given a 90 gallon salt water reef system around the beginning of March. It had belonged to a friend of mine and he had gotten tired of it so there wasn't much living in it when he gave it to me. I cycled it for 3 -4 four months then when it seemed that the nitrates were near zero, I decided to try adding some fish. I chose Tangs because I thought they could help with an algae problem. Unfortunately, the Tangs that I added must have had Ick becuase they caused almost all of the fish in my aquarium to develop white spots. Three ended up dying, before I could set up a qt tank. Two of the three were not removed after they died. This, of course, was great fertilizer and I now have a very large algae problem. I have been reading everything I can find to address the problem and I wanted to get some feedback from some folks to be sure I am taking the most logical steps. The problem is definitely improving as my nitrate level is now back to close to zero, but there is still a coating of algae on all my live rock.

I have done the following: 1) Used a phosphate sponge to try and remove excess phosphates (I don't have a phosphate analysis kit yet), 2) Used Kalwasser because I read it will help precipitate excess phosphate - obviously this will help raise calcium levels as well 3) dramatically improved the amount of water movement by adding two 300 gph pumps. This I read should help keep the CO2 levels low as well as help with waste removal. 4) Cut way back on the hours of my MH lighting. I think I have gone from about 13 hours to around 6 hours. I don't have any coral right now so doing this isn't a problem. 5) I have pulled out the large clumps of algae simply with my hands. I haven't tried using a brush.

I am planning on purchasing some algae eaters this weekend such as snails, sally lightfoot crabs, and hermit crabs. I only have a couple of snails and a couple small hermit crabs right now.

Are there other things I should consider trying to slow the growth of the algae and getting it under control?

Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give.
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Old 08-29-2003, 04:40 PM   #2
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add macroalgae
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Old 08-29-2003, 05:49 PM   #3
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What color is the algea? Brown, Green, Red? I think besides getting the algae eaters, doing your water changes with RO/DI can help keep it under control. What are you using for your water changes and top offs now?
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Old 08-29-2003, 06:17 PM   #4
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Thank you both.

The algae is mostly green and stringy. However, I have seen some brown stuff mixed in and some light dusting of brown on my aquarium glass. I have read that this could be diatoms.

I us RO water from my home RO system for top offs and water changes. I recently changed out the filter, but this was after using it when it was not operating properly for a while, so I probably accumulated some phosphates in the aquarium (this is a guess).

Regarding the macroalgae suggestion, I think this is the obvious goal since algae won't grown on rock coated with macroalgae, but don't I need to get the algae off the rocks for the macroalgae to grow?
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