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Old 11-28-2012, 04:08 PM   #1
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Algae question

Somewhat new to the hobby, have had my tank up and running for about 7 months now. I used to use a magnet to clean some brown algea on the sides of my tank, and if I did this every day or every other day it was no big deal and spotless.

6 weeks ago however, I crashed in a motocross race and broke my tib/fib some ribs and completely shattered my collar bone... needing surgeries and all of that. So I was laid up for a while and just now can use the magnet but in no way can scrap the sides due to my collar bone being a lame duck for months still. As you can see, in that 6 weeks my algae problem got out of control! I tested my phosphates and they were at around 2 (PPM or whatever the measurement is, can't remember right now, blame the drugs).

So I bought a phosphate reactor and set it up yesterday and will let that do it's thing. My question is, will that starve out the algae and this stuff will go away on its own, or will I still have to scrape and the reactor will just stop future growth once phosphates are at zero? Are phosphates the main source of my problem? I filled up the initial fill with tap water like a dummy and have been fighting algae since but I now have an RODI and use that exclusively for PWC and topping off so I'm sure that will help too.

So do I need to get a neighbor to scrape this algae off? Also, is this just regular ole' brown algae?
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:20 PM   #2
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I run a phos reactor and still give daily wipe of algae but I run lights for long photo period.

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Old 11-28-2012, 04:55 PM   #3
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What about the existing algae? I think that's my main problem... I'm still probably two months out from when I would be able to actually scrape the stuff that built up so was wondering when I get my phosphates down to zero, will the existing die off or am I looking at scraping (which means I need to recruit a neighbor or something)?
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:39 AM   #4
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The color looks like diatoms, but it kinda looks more like cyano in the pic. If it looks like a film above the sand it's likely the later. If its more like the sand itself is turning brown it's likely diatoms.
Diatoms generally occur around the 6 month mark in new aquariums as the diatom bacteria consume silicates in the sand. It forms mainly on the sand, but also can be seen on newer whitish rocks and the glass.
The diatoms will eventually die off when they consume all the silicates in the sand.
If it looks like you could almost vacuum it out then it is cyano from the excess nutrients. I would consider red slime remover and beer for the neighbor. Actually the red slimmer remover is for the tank. Just the beer for the neighbor for their scraping help.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:55 AM   #5
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Looks like diatom to me...
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:23 AM   #6
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My best advise would be to have a buddy help you remove the algae and a large 40-50% water change. And then a few days later do another large water change and remove any algae still seen. This will really bump down nutrient levels and prevent an even larger algae outbreak. The phosphate reactor was a good purchase, but by itself it will not fix the problem.

Btw sorry bout your accident, all i can say is ouch and that i hope you got it on camera lol. Get well soon.
29g Mixed Reef, 150w 14k Phoenix MH w/ Moonlights, Reef Octopus BH1000 HOB Skimmer, Ecotech Vortech MP10es, ReefKeeper Lite (Plus), PH Probe, Temp Probe, ATO, Carbon/GFO Reactor.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:49 PM   #7
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Thanks guys! It is probably diatoms then as I did have some red smile and got the remover stuff and that killed all the cyano (but made my skimmer go nuts for about a week). It's like a film on the glass but the magnet can't get it off and it takes some decent pressure with a plastic scraper i bought to get it off, and it does also get on the rocks but seems most noticeable on the glass.

Looks like a few beers for my neighbor to scrap it all off is in order, then a big water change. My phosphate reactor is kicking some butt as they are at almost 0 now, I think I also overfeed so am cutting back on feeding too.

Thanks for the advice, and yeah... ouch is right. I'm actually bummed because I normally have my go pro on my helmet but the battery died in the moto before so the one time I'd really want to see the video is of course when the camera wasn't rolling. Cased a huge double, would have been interesting to see what went on when I realized i wasn't going to make it. Probably an "oh sh!t" and then carnage! Would have been a great video...

Thanks again for the help guys, I really appreciate it!!

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