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Old 12-20-2014, 12:36 PM   #1
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started a saltwater talk back in July (I believe) and has since been battling non-st

Hello everyone,

My boyfriend started a saltwater talk back in July (I believe) and has since been battling non-stop algae. He first started with brown algae, which I know is normal for new tanks, then it grew into some kind of hair algae, then slime started and now it has turned into what you see in the pictures below. He is about to tear this tank apart and give up completely and I really don't want to see that happen . I have my own two planted fresh water tanks which are both very successful. I have had my battles with algae but nothing like this where there are 7 different things growing at once. We are both kind of out of ideas on how to fix this and really don't know what else to do. Please any help you can offer would be appreciated.

His specs are as follows: 50 gallon tank with 20 gallon sump, two 240watt TaoTronics LED light fixtures, automatic top off system, around 70lbs of rock (which he didn't buy live), Eshopps 75-100 gallon skimmer and two 1200 pumps. He also just added some cheato into the sump like a week ago. He also bought a phosphate reactor about a month ago and at first it seemed to be helping quiet a bit but then after about two weeks, it only seemed to make things worse.

Fish in the tank are two Picasso clown fish, one Cardinal fish, one Royal Grama and one Blenny (cant remember the specific type). There is also an assortment if snails and a cleaner shrimp in there as well.

He uses a 3 stage RODI unit to make water. MaxPureMPDI 90-GPD RODI System.
But he isn't really sure how to use it and the manual didn't come with any useful information. How do we actually operate it? Are we suppose to clean it after every use?

The light cycle is 8 hours and we do about 15% water changes weekly.
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:37 PM   #2
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More pictures
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Old 12-20-2014, 12:42 PM   #3
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There should be two lights there, he took the one to down to clean it.
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Old 12-20-2014, 01:13 PM   #4
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How are you feeding? I would cut back on feeding to a couple times a week for a while, and continue water changes. You are going to have to starve this algae out. No matter what the test kits say, you have an excess nutrient problem. Also, what supplements are you adding?
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Old 12-20-2014, 01:26 PM   #5
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How are you feeding? I would cut back on feeding to a couple times a week for a while, and continue water changes. You are going to have to starve this algae out. No matter what the test kits say, you have an excess nutrient problem. Also, what supplements are you adding?
He feeds them every other day about 1/4 a cube and doesn't add any supplements because he uses reef crystals salt which is suppose have everything already in it. Every time we test for nutrients for the corals, they are right where they should be. Should we be adding more?

If figured it was something regarding the water chemistry but with all of our numbers coming out fine, I am not really sure what exactly is causing it or how to control it. : \ I am really just utterly lost as to what the heck to do. We even attempted a 3 day blackout and it literally did nothing.
Is there something we could use in the phosphate reactor to help? We attempted to use the bags in the sump at one point but there really isn't a lot of flow in there and it didn't seem to make a difference.
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Old 12-20-2014, 05:49 PM   #6
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Vodka dosing? Then introduce rowaphos and bring vodka down and keep changing rowaphos.
Manual removal is important also!!


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Old 12-20-2014, 05:59 PM   #7
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This is one of those instances that you won't detect any nitrates because there is so much algae consuming it. I would do huge water changes with ro/di water. Use the old water to scrub the rocks down to get all of the current algae off.
That way you have a start point. You can then cut back to feeding, I only feed my reef tank half a cube of mysis every 3 days for example.
Continue use of your phosphate reactor, but make sure you are replacing the media monthly as it is consumed over time, between 28-30 days on average depending on the media type.
This will be a long battle, as algae always is. There are two articles in my signature that are in our articles section that will help you battle this as well. And remember, if your nitrates are 80(if you could detect them) a 50% water change would bring them to 40. So make sure they are large water changes over several days to bring it as you possibly can.
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Old 12-21-2014, 01:35 AM   #8
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Aside from nutrients algae also needs light to grow. You combine reduce of feeding and lighting. Just remember that they love that white light. IME using more blue light will slow down their growth. Set the blue 50% for 8 hrs and the white 25% or less for 4 hours. In a week you will notice the difference.
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Old 12-21-2014, 09:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
This is one of those instances that you won't detect any nitrates because there is so much algae consuming it. I would do huge water changes with ro/di water. Use the old water to scrub the rocks down to get all of the current algae off.
That way you have a start point. You can then cut back to feeding, I only feed my reef tank half a cube of mysis every 3 days for example.
Continue use of your phosphate reactor, but make sure you are replacing the media monthly as it is consumed over time, between 28-30 days on average depending on the media type.
This will be a long battle, as algae always is. There are two articles in my signature that are in our articles section that will help you battle this as well. And remember, if your nitrates are 80(if you could detect them) a 50% water change would bring them to 40. So make sure they are large water changes over several days to bring it as you possibly can.
What would you suggest if we cant get the rocks back out? They are ziptied together. I told him to scrub it all off and use a net to take out the top layer of sand then do a huge water change. I know that is what i do for my tanks anyway. He is scared that by doing that, he is going to make it worse. Also, can we add both phospahte and nitrate remover into the reactor?
What are some ways we can keep the nitrates down aside from feeding a little less? I know there isnt any nitrates in our tap water because I test it every few months foe my freshwater tanks so it is something else causing it. I know my local fish store sells live rock, maybe we should add some to the sump?
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Old 12-21-2014, 09:55 AM   #10
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Adding rock isn't going to do much. As a matter of fact, it might make things worse if it's uncycled/uncured. No, you shouldn't be adding anything in the way of supplements. I was asking to rule that out. Many folks dump phytoplankton in the tank not thinking it's adding to the nutrient problem.
You could always get a clean, new brush and scrub the algae off inside the tank just before a water change.
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