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Old 05-01-2005, 10:03 PM   #1
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Thinking of giving up SW

Hey guys,

I'm getting fed up with my 46 gallon, the hair algae just has me totally bummed and I'm sick and tired of battling it. I've tried everything, RO water, new pc bulbs, phosphate sponges, hermits, snails, less feeding, less light, carbon, no carbon, canister filter, no canister filter, skimmer, tang (didn't touch the algae, killed by a powerhead), a lawnmower blenny (didn't touch the algae, also killed by a powerhead) more flow, less flow, etc, etc.

So anyway, I'm not looking for pointers on how to get rid of the algae, I'm looking for pointers on tearing down a SW tank and converting it to FW. I hate to be a quitter, but the tank is just becoming a burden and not much fun anymore. I have had FW tanks successfully for years so I know what I need, but what SW stuff could still be used for FW? Of course the canister filter, and the heater. But what else? I have a dsb, any way I can keep that? I always had stones in the past. Are powerheads or a skimmer useful at all for FW? Is there anything special I need to do to "de-salt" (or de-algae!) the tank for use as FW?

More importantly, what can I do with the fish and LR? I have two clowns, two chromies, assorted snails and hermits, a large brittle star, a feather duster and a blood red fire shrimp. They all seem healthy, do you think a reputable LFS would give decent store credit for them and about 60lbs of algae-covered live rock, especially if I will be getting FW supplies with the credit?

Any suggestions appreciated.

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 05-01-2005, 10:27 PM   #2
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I'm sorry Bill, I hate to hear you are having problems. I keep waiting for the same to happen to me and I'm sure it will. My husband can't understand why I'm so picky about everything in the tank. I've read to many stories like yours. But I agree it's not much fun when you're having to go through what you are. It's like my stressing so much over everything. I can't be enjoying it when I've having nightmares of waking up to a floor full of water.

Good luck and I'm sure that someone here will have some good advise for you.

Rachel
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Old 05-01-2005, 10:36 PM   #3
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Most good mom and pop stores will give you credit, but it won't be near what you paid for it. But it's better than nothing unless you would want to sell and ship them.
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Old 05-01-2005, 10:37 PM   #4
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I've sent you a PM on your location. I'm sorry to hear of your frustrations and that you want to quit. Just clean the tank super good. You can probably use the powerheads for more flow but the skimmer won't be any good to you on a fw tank. I wouldn't risk trying to keep the sand. Most lfs will give you credit on healthy livestock.
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Old 05-02-2005, 01:16 AM   #5
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I would say sell the sand to someone, dont try to re-use it, you would be wasting that bacterial gold that people love... just my 2 cents.. and I as well am sorry to hear that, I also dread that, However I have recently over come 6 inch long hair algae, it took a lot of scrubbing and some additions of crabs shrimp etc... but finally its under control and stable... good luck with freshwater, I hope someday you will return to the art.
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:36 AM   #6
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a uv sterilizer would solve your SW algae issues
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Old 05-02-2005, 11:41 AM   #7
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I know you didn't ask for this - but my algae issue completely disappeared when I replaced the bulb in my UV sterilizer. I was actually worried that there wasn't ENOUGH algae in the tank.
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:12 PM   #8
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*Warning: LONG A** POST about why not to quit because of hair algae*

Okay, I got a 105G tank. Its basically my second child. When I started out green I bought stuff for it left and right, went through four or so sumps, anyhow I have this thing up in the one hundred and teens $/gal. So not only is it my second child, its tied up some serious dollars. Now to the point, about 7 months ago I started to notice hair alage. I do all the precautions like you have, maybe not quite as quickly as I should, and it just gets worse and worse. Around 5 months ago my tank is choked in green. My corals are bleaching and fading away, I lose some great fish, no amount of work will fix it. At this point I tossed up my hands and said "I quit".
So now we fast forward to about 2 months ago, I have just started a new business, so I haven't had time to break the tank down. The hair algae is there, and im doing what I have to do to keep the tank from getting nasty like the skimmer cup, etc. Haven't dosed a thing, haven't fed a thing, haven't changed water in about 3 months. I have really QUIT at this point. Days go by and as quickly as the hair alage came on, it starts to die off. It dies off in sheets. I can pull it off the rocks like wet tape because its dead at the root.
My tank over the course of about six days does a 180 degree turn around. So now here I am about 2 months since the hair alage died off. Some of my best corals and fish are lost, others are fighting off brown outs and bleaching, but the reef is bouncing back. At the bottom of this post is a link to pics of it that I have just taken this week.
Okay so I have been rambling on and now I will get to the point. Keeping a reef tank is hard VERY frustrating work sometimes. Its easy to forget when we have a nice 10 month stretch of cystal clear water and smooth sailing, but hard times will happen and you just have to ride them out and rebuild. All the reefs of the world cycle that way, and sometimes regardless of all of our work, our captive reefs have to do it themselves. Stick with it, keep your hands out of it a little more, if you do something to the tank, give it time to work. Anyway, *end of motivational discussion* but that is my story, and I tell it to anyhow who is going crazy about hair algae. Please check out my link, granted these pics wont blow you away, but its getting better and better as each day passes. The point is if I had given up, these pics would have never been taken and this tank would be sitting out in my garage right now collecting dust.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...673&highlight=
Good luck.
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Old 05-02-2005, 04:47 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. Love that avatar BrisCo (or should I say Quint)

I'm leary of getting a UV sterilizer because I have heard others say they are useless, and I don't want to make any more large purchases in case I do end up throwing in the towel.

As for this algae, the tank has NEVER been nice and clear since I started it about a year and a half ago. First it was the diatoms, no problem. Then the cyano. BIG problem, but I fought it and eventually won with the help of RO water and red slime remover. That was a loooonnng battle and it took a lot out of me! I guess I got rid of it completely about 4 months ago. Since then the tank has just been a never ending hair algae farm. It's very nasty to look at with hair algae everywhere. It's even on my hermits, they look like little Don Kings crawling around. I just cannot get rid of the stuff!



However, your post is inspiring because it sounds like I am at the stage where you were when you said "I quit"! Maybe I'll just kill the lights completely for a week and see what happens. But at this point, a cichlid tank and it's relative lack of maintenance sounds VERY appealing to me.
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Old 05-02-2005, 05:44 PM   #10
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You seem to be having a change of heart and I'm glad. I know you said you didn't want suggestions but, I'm gonna throw this out to you anyway. Have you tried redfoot snails? Before tearing everything down and taking a loss on the last year and a half of work you've put into the tank, I would get a hand full of these snail. Remove what you can manually (give it a trim) and throw a couple of these snails in there for a few weeks and see what happens. Just a thought.


http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...cfm?pCatId=570

Oh, and note the size of these snails. They get quite large so a little can go a long ways.
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