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Old 03-16-2004, 03:18 PM   #1
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New hobbyist in need of some guidance

Hey guys, I am new here and I would just like to say that I hope this site truly assists me in my new venture with my aquarium.

You can see what I have in my autosignature.

I am having some problems with algae growth and I'm not sure what the best thing to do here is so I'm coming for some pro's advice. We're talking cleaning the front glass daily and my live rock looks like algae carpeting. What's the best chemical or way to get rid of this ??

I just got this tank in late Dec and I've lost 2 shrimps shortly thereafter due to toxic ammonia levels. Did massive water changes to remedy this along with the purchase of a Hot Magnum and Biowheel 170 which I just heard have the same purpose so that was pointless. Which is more beneficial to use ??

I have a HOT-1 Protein skimmer in use normally all the time but the **** thing backs up alot and overflows and I just thoroughly cleaned it ALL out a week ago.

Any questions you need to know, ask away and I will answer immediately. My MSN Msnger ID is "US_NavyAceshigh1"
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Saltwater Aquarium
46 Gallon acrylic bowfront
45 lbs Live Rock
2 Clarkii clownfish - Med
1 Hawaiian Yellow Tang - Med
1 Blue Surgeon (Daury) - Med
1 Diamond Back Goby - Med
1 Cleaner Shrimp - Med
1 Sea Leather - 6 inches diameter when open
2 Bubble tipped anemone - Med
1 Sea Apple
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Old 03-16-2004, 03:31 PM   #2
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Do you test your water for nitrates and phosphates? These compounds are the main fuel that drive algae growth. They can be introduced various ways, through overfeeding, using tap water, salt mixes etc etc. Post some water test results. Do you use tap water for mixing fresh SW? RO water should be free of nitrates, phophates and any other contaminants. Test your freshwater source, and test your freshly mixed saltwater to rule these out as the source of your problems and then you can focus on the the tank side of things. Could be overfeeding, lighting issues or filtration problems. HTH
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Old 03-16-2004, 03:34 PM   #3
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First off... Welcome to AA!!

Well, with a 46 gal you are kind of on the high side of your bio load. Both of the tangs will get pretty large and will need a bigger tank as they grow. this could be a big part in your algea problem. algea grows and thrives in nutrient rich enviroments, and with that many fish in such a small area, your tank is probably nutrient rich. the way to take care of the problem is go after the source. adding more LR will take care of all biological filtration so the biowheel is not needed as they just store nitrates, which leads to algea growth. it (with the bio wheel removed) and the magnum can be used for water movement however so they arent a total waste. skimming is also a great way to remove excess nutrients. as the skimmer pumps out all that skimmate, which should be dark green or black and if not try adjusting it, just keep emptying it.

Do you have test kits to moniter ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates? if yes, what are the levels? if no, you should really get some and test them and post the results.

when cleaneing the algea off the tank or rocks, be sure to try to remove it from the tank and not just float through the water which allows it to land somewhere else and spread. HTH and im sure others will have something to say as well.
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Old 03-17-2004, 10:40 PM   #4
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Okay, yeah I thought my bio-load was kinda borderline, wasn't sure about that. Okay, I'll try to answer all of that.

First, I was feeding them once maybe 2x a day. Obviously no longer at this point. Every other day seems fine.....correct ?

Second, Water changes was being done with tap water. I have a buddy at work who told me it was ok, but even he just went to a RO system. Nice to know that,....just found out today from him. He told me that he has a Y-gate setup in his laundry room for his washer water and it cost him $125 for this setup. He said using 5 gallon buckets he can fill 2 of them in 6 hours. Sound good >??? Any other ideas ??

I don't test for phosphates, not sure how to. This has been a hork of a mess for me and I just got a call from my bro that my final cleaner shrimp just keeled over....nice. I'm thinking of selling this thing if I can't get it right. PLEASE help a guy out here.

I have these strips that test Nitrites, Nitrates, Alkalinity, and PH. Everything is good except my Nitrites.....I think. My ammonia was too high before and it's why I lost my other 2 shrimp. Is there a kit that is fairly inexpensive to test all these things ??

Lastly , is there anything on the market to help seriously reduce my (Green) algae outbreak I'm having at this point??
Oh yeah, what is the purple algae ??
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Saltwater Aquarium
46 Gallon acrylic bowfront
45 lbs Live Rock
2 Clarkii clownfish - Med
1 Hawaiian Yellow Tang - Med
1 Blue Surgeon (Daury) - Med
1 Diamond Back Goby - Med
1 Cleaner Shrimp - Med
1 Sea Leather - 6 inches diameter when open
2 Bubble tipped anemone - Med
1 Sea Apple
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Old 03-17-2004, 11:54 PM   #5
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That is quite a bioload for a 46 gal. Let's back up here, it sounds like your main problem is ammonia and nitrite for the time being...ignore the algae for now. Look at your LFS for test kits..you should have pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphate at the least. Tetra makes decent tests along with seachem, salifert, seatest. You need to get these tests going so you can get an idea of what's going on with your water quality. Any level of ammonia or nitrite is toxic to fish and really toxic to inverts like shrimp. I would also suggest you check out a book.."The Concientious Marine Aquarist" by Robert Fenner, its an excellent book for beginners in the hobby.

About the algae, it sounds like your tank is pretty new and it is not uncommon for tanks to go through stages of algae blooms early on. The tapwater and/or overfeeding could be contributing also. You do have a lot of filtration however, I would suggest getting some more live rock. Maybe another 10-15 lbs. Be sure you've got good water circulation provided by a few powerheads...you want to be turning over the tank volume by 10-20 times..a few Maxi jet 1200 would be good. If you get the LR you can slowly remove the floss and biowheels from your fiters and let the LR be your main bio-filter...it will make things simpler in the long run...you can still use the filters for water flow and carbon. HTH Its a lot to explain in a short amount of time. Go for the book and read read read
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