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Old 04-03-2004, 12:51 PM   #1
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my tank is a mess

I've had my tank set up for almost a year. My fish are doing very well, I haven't had any deaths till yesterday. They were new fish and I don't think they were right for our tank. Anyway, we have lots of green algae and that nasty red algae/bacteria everywere. Our phosphates are kinda high. We started buying RO water about 3 months ago, we did one good sized water change a few weeks ago but now things are looking worse. We have a little bit of live rock, we run a wet/dry, and a power head. We also have a lot of snails and hermit crabs. I don't over feed and they do a good job cleaning up leftovers. I also have a protien skimmer on order. My question is would it be a bad idea to drain the tank and start over with all RO water when we get the protien skimmer? I think I might get rid of the live rock and start over with that too because it doesn't look too good anymore.
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Old 04-03-2004, 01:53 PM   #2
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Your main problem is the PO4. Removing that should be the first step. If using only RO water now, you have eliminated the introduction of new sources of PO4 (except foods) and only need to remove the remaining levels. Get a good quality PO4 granular sponge and keep changing it out every few days until the level of PO4 becomes undetectable by the test kit.

Increasing the amount of LR and removing any media from the wet/dry will also help. Depending on the flow rate from the retrurn pump, one PH is most likely not sufficient flow. Low GPH will allow nuisance algaes to thrive in less than desirable conditions. The skimmer will definately help improve things but it will not solve all your problems. Skimmers are not a must but IMO they are a great benefit. Also keep in mind that any animals you have aquired to help remove the algaes will ignore them if they have grown out of control. The hair algae needs to be pruned short and any cyano syphoned out manually.

As far as the fish are concerned, you should post more info about the size, age and general set up of the tank as well as other inhabitants. Newly aquired fish should always be placed in a >>quarantine tank<< and observed for a 4 week period prior to placing in the display tank. You should also avoid adding more than one at a time unless a mated pair.

Cheers
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Old 04-03-2004, 01:56 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your troubles. I would not drain the tank and start over. Instead, try doing a 50% water change with R/O water. Check your levels and then do about a 10% water change with R/O every other day until the levels return to normal. As for the live rock, I would actually go out and buy more instead of getting rid of what you have. Make sure it is cured live rock so you can just put it in your tank. How big is your tank? How many fish? What type of lighting do you have and how long is it on during the day? Good luck.
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Old 04-03-2004, 02:49 PM   #4
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my tank is a 55g, we started with 3 green chromis, then 2 clowns, a koran angel, then a snowflake eel, yellow tang, very small trigger and a hippo tang and a large sleeper goobie. 40ish lbs of dead rock. 40wx2 bulbs we run it about 8 hours a day. Sometimes I do forget to turn it on when I go to work..once a week . I'm am so tired of scubbing algae off the glass and my boyfriend is tired of me always having my arms in there and spending his money on the tank and it always looks like crap... I hope I can fix this
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Old 04-03-2004, 04:08 PM   #5
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Get rid of the phosphate and you get rid of the algaes. It will not be right away but as long as you are diligent, it will go away. Most of the cost will come from the PO4 sponge but the rest will be from your own time. Manual removal will still be the best bet to speeding things up. NO lights are fine for a FO tank with a little rock but be sure you change them at least once a year. The spectrum shift will contribute to problem algaes.

I am unclear how many fish you have in the tank right now? A 55 gal will not properly house some of the fish you've named. Can you post a list?

You should also post what the water specs are, with actual numbers. NH3, NO2, NO3, ph, alk and PO4. If you know the pump and PH you are using, post those as well. As far as algaes on the glass, I would highly recommend a >>Kent pro scraper<<. Just be sure you get the metal blade for glass and the plastic one for acrylic. FWIW, you will never completely eliminate the algaes on the glass. Only reduce the frequencey it needs cleaning.

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Old 04-03-2004, 10:04 PM   #6
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i had alot of red slime which spread rapidly over my tank sand, i could peal it off but it would break , I found that using a air line as a siphon I could gently get the alge off stuff without disturbing much sand like with the big siphons, it would just fly off the bed with the least amount of force this might help knock down quick. also ive read that increasing tank temp slightly will speed life cycle of alge.
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Old 04-05-2004, 12:12 AM   #7
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I've had a similar problem with that type of algae. From what I've read in these reply post, they've hit it on the button. You have to manually take off that pesty algae meaning taking out that live rock and scrubbing it off with a brush or something. try and scoop out the algae off the sand or what ever substrate you may be using and clean it. Phosphate absorbant will definitely help and water changes. Be persistant and once you start to see that cynobacteria appearing again, clean it off.
Of course your tank will have all that miniscule particles of algae floating around the tank during your clean. Well if you happen to have or know someone who has a diatom filter, borrow it and run it. It will remove those particles and give you clean, clear water.
As f-dean posted, higher tank temperature does increase growth of algae.
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