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Old 12-03-2004, 01:08 AM   #1
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Never Ending Algae

Hey everyone...looking for a bit of advice.

I've had my tank going for just over 3 months now. My problem is the algae that I can't seem to get under control.

As of last night my water parameters were great.
PH=8.3
Nitrite=0
Nitrate=0
Ammonia=0
Temp=80
SG=1.023

I did a 20% water change on Tuesday and with all my changes/top offs I only use R/O water.
My fish have been out of the tank for about 3 weeks now because of a bout of ick. The only feeding is very minimal supplements to my corals every few days.
I just can't get a handle on what could be causing the problems. Main aglae is green/green hair aglae the grows everywhere(rocks, glass, sandbed) some red stringy type algae..and some cyano that grows in just one small patch.
I haven't tested for Phosphate(don't know where it could come from), but did add Phos-X to my HOB filter to see if there were any changes(none so far)
Any help or advice will be so great appreciated!
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Old 12-03-2004, 02:01 AM   #2
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well with all the other bases covered, what kind of light are giving and for how long. Algae needs food of some sort. sounds like too much time under the lights might be a factor.
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Old 12-03-2004, 02:09 AM   #3
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try cutting your lighting days in half for a week. also, what kinda clean-up crew do you have?

are you using tap water of RO water??? tap water will only feed the algea.
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Old 12-03-2004, 09:08 AM   #4
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You need to test for PO4, You say where could it come from, Your water thats where. RO/DI is the best we can get , Using just RO water there is a posibility that this is the issue. Do you make your own RO water or buy it?
Test for Phosphates and let us know.
Any corals? If not you can leave the lights off till you put the fish back, this should help. But you need to still test to find the problem.
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Old 12-03-2004, 09:39 AM   #5
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My tank is 2 months old and those pics could've easily come from my tank! But nearly my entire sandbed has been covered in cyano. It actually seems to be disappearing for some unknown reason. I got 10 Astrea snails about a week ago and they've made a huge difference on the green hair algae. I still need more of them since I have a 90 gal. I picked up the snails and placed them in the thick of the hair algae and they demolished it. I don't see any harm in telling them where to graze.
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:08 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses.
I have been using only R/O water, I have never used Tap. I buy my R/O water from the store where I purchased my entire tank setup.
I have been cautious about cutting my lights back. I have two corals...one a small frag of button polyps, the other a green star polyp. Right now my lights are on about 11 hrs a day...as that is the main source of "food" for my star polyps.
I could use more of a clean-up crew...it has gotten small as some snails and crabs have died....I would still like to try and help control the algae though.
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:30 PM   #7
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Maybe an algea grazer fishy might help too. Bi-color blenny? And of course the clean-up crew probably needs beefing up again.
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:42 PM   #8
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i had the same outbreak about 1 1/2 months into my tank being up. it was gone within a few weeks. i had hair algae covering the back of my glass, and on some of the rocks. i then got a bunch of hermits and snails, along with some manual removal from the rocks. but my cleanup did most of the cleaning. now at month 3, hair algae is completely gone. i would try manual removal, even though it is a pain.
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Old 12-03-2004, 05:17 PM   #9
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My Lawnmower Bleeny has done wonders for my algae issues and he is sooooooo much fun to watch too.
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Old 12-04-2004, 07:34 AM   #10
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Many hobbyists trace the cause of hair algae and slime algae outbreaks to phosphates. First, test the RO water you are using to be sure you are not unintentionally introducing phoshpates into your aquarium. Second, you may be unintentionally producing phosphate in your aquarium if you have a particulate filter. Any place in your aquarium where detritus accumulates, including on a filter pad, in your sump, and under your live rock, can become a phosphate factory. As water flows thru, over, and around detritus buildups, the biological process which occurs produces phosphates as a biproduct. The simple solution is to clean your filter pad every single day. Just a quick rinse under the tap is fine. Some hobbyists do not even run a particulate filter, believing the bad outweigh the good.

If you notice mounds of detritus buildup in your sump or under live rock, you can use airline tubing to syphon the detritus out of your aquarium. Also, I am assuming you are not using bioballs, which themselves are a Nitrate & Phosphate producing machine. If you have bioballs you need to remove them completely from your system.

Blue Leg Hermit crabs are a great source of hair algae control, assuming the factors I mention above are kept in check.

Good luck!
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