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Old 06-22-2007, 11:51 PM   #1
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Is this bad for my fish?

Ok, I have a 29 gallon marine tank. This is my first, so it's trial and error. I have a clownfish and a royal dottyback. There are two good sized chunks of live-rock in there. Crushed coral for substrate. Using a Cascade filter meant for 100 gallon tank. Fish appear to be very healthy. Haven't seen a change in behavior.

I have a reddish algaeish thing growing on the substrate. Very little grows on the glass. When the tank was new (about three months ago), got lots of algae on the glass. I mean loads. Lights are on from 7am-11pm, which I'm sure is a bit more than needed. Do the same thing in my planted freshwater, but the pleco takes care of any algae. I don't have any algae eaters in the salty.

Anyways, I'm assuming chemical levels are getting higher (haven't checked in several weeks. Been very busy with work). The algae bloom on the glass completely died out. Now though, there's a reddish growth on the substrate. It's actually growing to the point that it's a bit stringy and waves in the current from the over-powered filter. It started as a little bit of reddish algae on a piece of live rock, but now it's coating nearly the entire bottom.

Again, the fish appear to not be having any negative effects from this. Is this algae-like substance dangerous, or is it merely unsightly. I'm sure the tank needs a water change to get the chemical levels back down a bit. Hasn't been changed in a while because I'm still a rookie when it comes to mixing salt properly. I lost two anemones due to water parameters being unstable. I'm told inverts are more sensitive, and I'm sure their deaths added to the chemical levels.

Is it just all the light creating this algae. Did the likely chemical spike after the anemones died kill the brown bacteria on the glass and allow the red stuff on the bottom to take over?

Do I need to be worried about this growth, or is it merely an eyesore?

In either case, what could be added to the tank to combat this. Would a starfish eat this stuff? Is there some kind of marine algae eater I could add to the tank? Even if it's not dangerous for the fish, I'd like to tank to look a little bit better.

Any help would be totally appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 06-23-2007, 12:08 AM   #2
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Old 06-23-2007, 12:40 AM   #3
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So if I'm understanding correctly, cut back a bit on the light and start doing some water changes again? Also, I feed my fish sinking pellets every day. I feed them once a day and no more. My dottyback goes crazy for them, and my clowny grabs one or two. One or two pellets end up sinking to the bottom.

Is this too much feeding for these two fish? Should I cut back to just every other day?

My biggest fear since starting this hobby 18 months ago is underfeeding my fish. I know that's hard to do being cold blooded and all, but I feel bad.

But if I'm understanding correctly, it'll be ok feeding them every other day instead of every day. I need to do some water changes and cut back on the light. I work most days, and when I don't, I sleep til noon, so I guess my tank light doesn't really need to be on at 7am. Maybe 11am-11pm... cut things back by four hours. That sound like a good way to start?
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Old 06-23-2007, 01:49 AM   #4
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Trouble-Shoot 29 Gal

A week ago, the boyfriend and I invested in a previously owned 29 gallon reef aquarium.

I thought we got a pretty good deal...the tank came with a few corals, and it was already established. We had been wanting to tinker around with a reef tank for a while. Previously, we had established his sister's 75 gal saltwater fish and liverock tank, which lead to this very addictive hobby.

Unfortunately, we went into reef with very little knowledge, but it was a deal we didn't want to pass up.

After moving and messing with our new tank, I've noticed from my saltwater knowledge that this poor aquarium is a disaster.

Just to jump to the problems we're having:

1. Overheating: The previous owner was using a sticker to measure out temp. of the water. Common sense told me this wasn't very accurate, so I purchased a glass themometer.

The tank was at 82 degrees. I was very surprised to not see anything in the tank freaking out like I was. I'll take an easy guess that the tank has been over-heated for a while. I was able to lower the temp. back to 76 with the help of frozen water bottles.

From what I've been told, 78 degrees is tolerable for corals, but we have fish and I'd prefer to get it back to 76.

The first thing we did was buy a new heater with the hopes that the old heater was broken. This did not solve the problem.

I don't believe it is the lighting. After lowering the temperature, the lights went out for the night, but the tank rose 2 degrees anyway.

The aquarium store that we frequent uses the same cannister filter that we own for many of their 75 gal display tanks. They informed us they've had small problems of overheating from the cannisters before, but nothing like our problem.

I'm frustrated with the heat and stumped about what to do. I don't want to keep throwing frozen bottles in the tank. It freezes our little clown to death. We also don't have the money to purchase a chiller right now and it seems like such an unnecessary expensive for such a small tank and such a frigid town (Tacoma, WA).

Any suggestions on other ways to trouble-shoot the source of the problem? Anyone had a similar problem with heat?

2. Red Slime: Red slime is nothing we have not seen before. This little irritating cyanobacteria popped up in our tank a few days after we purchased it.

Chemi-clean has worked for us in the past, so we treated the tank, but to no avail. The cyanobacteria returned the next day.

I've read a bit here and a bit there about the problem before. I believe that chemi-clean is indeed a bandaid for what is going to be just a reoccuring problem.

So my solution is to either increase the flow in the tank to reduce the carbon that these suckers are eating...


Let the cyanobacteria live it's life cyle and die out, since I've read that red slime is a common and natural occurence in young tanks...

Any other suggestion? How did you trouble shoot with red slime? What's the best way to increase flow in a tank?

Next and final problem.

3. Levels are crazy: The pH is ridiculously low. The ammonia was a little under 1.25, and I believe the nitrate may have been high too. We have done a water change, but levels have remained relatively the same.

My solution is to cut back on the food and test the tank daily, so that I can keep adding buffer, until the pH has returned to normal. I would like to know if there is a better way to stablize the levels though.

I will probably be doing another water change tomorrow to hopefully lower the ammonia and nitrate. I really think the problems with these levels is I need to smack my boyfriend's hands a little more when it comes to feeding time. He feels bad because he thinks they're starving. I haven't explained to him that they naturally act like they're starving all the time. :P

I'm at work right now, so I'll have to update a little later with the equipment we have on the tank and the exact numbers of the levels. Any suggestion anyhow?

Thanks a lot everyone!
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:47 AM   #5
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Heat at 82 is not the end of the world.. This is NOT a Fresh water tank and a tank at 79 is the norm and hitting 82 is not bad. 76 is to low and swings in temp like you have going on is worse then the tank being stable at 82. Try and maintain at 78-80

Ph post numbers please... 8.0 is a good number. Again being stable is more important that that magic number.

Ammonia is your biggest problem if you have fish and corals. If it was an established tank you should not have any.. Any live rock in the tank? how much.. What was in the tank that you did not use?

Cyno feeds on phosphates, test water for that, if your using tap water this would be a source for PO4 so check tap water also. Post numbers.. Over feeding also is a problem, old bulbs and low flow are things that help it grow.

Buffer? what are you adding and why? You should not have to add anything in a small tank if your doing water changes..
Water changes should be done with salt water that has been mixed for 24 hours and heated and the salinity checked when the water is heated.
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:00 AM   #6
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As mentioned by seaham 82 is not that bad. The key to temps is stability. If it will stay there without alot of jumping around then I would leave it alone. I know several people that have there`s at 82 degrees. As far as the cyano read this article on Red Slime .
I also agree that weekly PWC`s will buffer your water where you need it. here is an article on heat.



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Old 06-23-2007, 09:18 AM   #7
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my tank stays right at 82. All my corals ar doing great.
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Old 06-23-2007, 09:21 AM   #8
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You`ll need to feed every other day and cut the lights back alot. If you dont have any corals in this tank I would cut the lights out for a week. You`ll need to do weekly PWC`s and siphon up this cyano as you do the PWC`s. I dont know of anything to eat that stuff but even if it was that would be a bandaid solution. Just cover the problem instead od solving. We need water test results for ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates and phosphates. These have to be high to fuel your cyano. Also Dont double post the same post in different forums Please.


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Old 06-23-2007, 10:35 AM   #9
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Cyno is a pain but you can get rid of it by following the advice in the links that have been provided. Chemi-clean does work to rid your tank of EXISTING cycno, but unless you ID and correct the source it will just keep returning.

The tank was at 82 degrees
No big deal. 80 is a good temp to shoot for but 82 is not harmful to a marin tank. Do you have a glass top on the tank? If so, this could be contributing to the heat and Ph issue. If you have one, remove it.

Levels are crazy: The pH is ridiculously low. The ammonia was a little under 1.25, and I believe the nitrate may have been high too. We have done a water change, but levels have remained relatively the same.
The tank's biological filtration was likely disturbed in the move and you are expereining another cycle. This is pretty common with tanks that have been moved. If you have livestock in the tank you will need to do very frequent water changes to keep levels at an acceptable level while the tank re-establishes its biofilter.
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Old 06-23-2007, 12:24 PM   #10
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I have fluctuation in my temps. During the morning its like 75.9 - 77.1 and during the afternoon its anywhere between 77.8 - 80.1. I dont know how to solve this issue.

If it doesn't work, use a Hammer.

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