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Old 09-07-2005, 08:15 AM   #1
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What is this algae? I never can seem to get rid of it!!

Hello,

Attached are some pictures of some red algae that I just cannot seem to get rid of. I've had this problem for like a year now and it just wont go away.

My lights are over 12 months old so that probably doesn't help, but can I please get some guidence on what this is and how to get rid of it, for good?

I've got a protein skimmer and it doesnt seem to be collecting much muck at the moment. It did when I first started using it but now it seems to collect only a small amount each week.

Thank you.
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:37 AM   #2
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Looks like cyanobacteria. What are your phosphate and nitrate readings? Is there plenty of water flow in that area? How often do you feed your tank? How often do you do water changes? Do you use RO/DI water for water changes and top offs? If not, have you tested your tap water for phosphates and nitrates? Do you use additives in your tank? These things can play a large part in the success or decline of cyano.
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:42 AM   #3
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I'll have to check phosphate but nitrates are 0. Water flow.. well food moves around easily and not "slowly" in the area. I feed my tank once per day, just before the lights go off.

I use ocean water from the LFS for changes and tap water treated for chlorine / chloride for top-offs. I asked the LFS about phosphates in these and she said no she's tested it.

I use a KH buffer and as needed a CA buffer.

Any ideas? Some of my fish do large craps which are very hard to siphon up because I have a fine sand bed which usually comes up before the crap does so it typically just stays in there. I know that's bad.
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Old 09-07-2005, 08:55 AM   #4
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The fish crap isn't so bad but you could try syphoning with airline tubing so your not pulling out so much sand. Have you tested your tap water than you are topping the tank off with? It could be adding extra nutrients to the tank. How often do you do water changes? Extra water changes may help. Also, how long is your light cycle? If your bulbs are over a year old, replacing them may help as well.
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Old 09-07-2005, 10:28 AM   #5
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Like Fluff says I would start with the bulbs and see how that helps.
As bulbs age there lighting spectruim can change and this can help cyno grow.
Check tap water for PO4.
Clean your skimmer and skimmer pump, cleaning on a regular basis can help. Maybe getting a new pump will help also.
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Old 09-07-2005, 06:55 PM   #6
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Hmm... well the lights I knew could be a cause of the algae due to spectrum shift, but surely I don't have to replace the entire filter?? Sounds a little excessive don't you think? Surely I could just clean it, since I know it needs cleaning?

I will test the tap water tonight hopefully, but from my recollection my ocean water when tested has always come up good, aside from lower KH and CA levels which I will buffer once in the tank.

I'm just wondering if it might be worth going chemical? I've had this problem for so long and couldn't find the cause. I've been down the path of the phosphate level checks and so forth and had good lights at several points which didn't seem to do much. I'm thinking it's one of those things where unless I nuke it all entirely it just grows from wherever its still surviving?
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:12 PM   #7
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Having your lfs test the water you are buying is fine but you really need to test for phosphates in your tank as well. Also, keep in mind that phosphates and nitrates, even though you are having none show on your test, there are some still in the system. Only the cyano and algaes you have are removing these amounts for you. Doing extra water changes will help with starving the cyano. You could try the chemical treatments. These are normally only temporary fixes. If you don't adjust what is causing the problem, the cyano will regroup and come back over time. Also, drop back to feeding once every other day. What are you feeding? Lots of prepared fish foods are full of phosphates as well.
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:13 PM   #8
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I'm curious as to why you are supplimenting? If the lfs water is lacking, have you considered just using a good salt mix and mixing your own?
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:26 PM   #9
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The food is just myias shrimp. It's described as being "nutritious" which to me when I read it meant its got additives.. undoubtably one of my problems. What's a good food to feed the fish? It seems as though all of these prepared foods have "nutrients" added.

I supliment for KH and CA... these I have always found to be a little underscore.. salt mixes don't have these at optimal levels right? Seems as though I would still have to buffer that?
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Old 09-07-2005, 07:29 PM   #10
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I do have salt mix at home I purchased over a year ago to give it a try, but I was getting all different stories about using it and then not using it.

I would have thought it would be the best since it would have the trace elements to help out the tank?
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