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Old 11-21-2010, 09:26 AM   #1
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algae/Tank help

So i took over a 72 gallon FOWLR tank that was in pretty rough shape. i think for a newbie i've done a pretty good job improving water quality and keeping the tank clean. previous owner got rid of it because didn't have time to care for it which was apparent. SO, i recently upgraded my lighting from 2 32W bulbs to 4 T5HO (54w) bulbs. before i did have algae growth but if i were to scrub the algae off the glass and do a water change it would be crystal clear for about 4-5 days and by the 5th or 6th day you would start to see algae accumulating on the glass. now that i have upgraded the lighting it is growing much faster which i expected. Currently the tank really doesn't have much for a cleaner crew.
I was thinking of maybe getting some snails to try and combat the algae? there are several different choices and i'm seeing some are better for my sand bed to mix up the sand? Really looking some advice of how to combat this algae. and what snails would go with my tank.

Not sure if this helps but my current tank inhabitants are:
1 Clarkii clown
1 Yellow Tang
2 Blue devil damsel
1 Yellow damsel
1 gray damsel
2 chocolate chip star fish
1 red banded shrimp
1 condy anenome

I feed them Brine Shrimp or Mysis Shrimp 3 times a week. and sometimes a few pellets in between (fun to watch the shrimp chase those down)

My lights are on a timer. i recently cut back on the hours now that i have the new lights.
Acintics come on at 10 and turn off 7
Whites come on at 11 and turn off 6
LED on at night.

The tank IS next to a window....but i have that window covered extremely well so don't think that should be an issue.

I'm changing out 4-5 gallons of water every week.

I have a canister filter that moves 300GPH and a power head that moves 750 GPH (do i need more water flow?)

I know this is a long post and i thank you for taking the time to read it.

please help

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Old 11-21-2010, 10:11 AM   #2
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Read this for a good algea battle plan.

FantasyReef Databases-Viewing item "10 Step Plan for Nuisance Algae Control"

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Old 11-21-2010, 10:19 AM   #3
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nassarius snails will sift the sand, i have turbos and they clean up pretty good though they are bulldozers and knock stuff around.

those lights should be cut down to like 5 hours a day or IMO
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:20 AM   #4
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that tank is doing very well if you only have to clean the glass every 5 days! as for snails, buy a few if you want them, but nothing beats a mag float or algae scraper. if you have just snails in the tank, your glass will not be clean- you'll still have to scrape it.
i would add another power head. another 750 gph or higher unit just to keep detritus suspended until your cannister can pick it up.

i don't think cutting down the lights is going to make much of a difference, plus, you have the condy to think about.
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:21 AM   #5
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Good advice so far. Also, skip the brine shrimp except for the occasional (1 - 2 times/month). Brine are a treat like potato chips and contain very little nutritional value.

Double your PWC to about 10 gallons per week. You really want to do at least 10%/week, or 20% every other week. The weekly schedule is better if you can handle it.

The mag scraper is a must. I use mine every 2 - 3 days and scrape during my PWCs to get any coralline that has started.

Here's some snail info I have accumulated"

Astrea Snail-most common of all saltwater tank snails. They are excellent algae eaters and will forage all over the rock, sand, and glass. They fall very easily and can not right themselves up and then die unless you right them.

Banded Trochus Snail - Large snails that are excellent algae eaters although are very slow about it. They guys have a hard time picking themselves up if stranded in the middle of the sand.

Bumblebee snails- Not very hardy. Marginal algae eaters, but more of a detritus grazer. They can prey on other snails and sand bed critters.

Cerith Snails (Cortez) - Good algae and detritus eaters that forage rock, glass, and sand. Some can pick themselves up and some cant.

Cerith Snails (White)- Good algae and detritus eaters that seem to stay in the sand more than the cortez, but can be found on the rock and glass. Once again, some can pick themselves up and others cant. They are good sand bed snails to shift the substrate around.

Conch Snails - These are all about the sand bed and are very cool to watch. They usually don't get flipped over, but if they do, they can kick around and turn themselves back upright.They very hardy too.

Mexican Turbo Snails - super fast grazer that will knock out some algae in no time. They mostly stay on rocks and glass, but will work the top of the sandbed too. These may be cold water snails that don't do so well in a reef. But, once they are adjusted... they seem to be very hardy and active. Mine are going on two years and are huge now. I originally got them for a hair algae problem. They do tend to knock over anything that is not glued in place (corals, clams, rocks, etc.)

Nassarius Snails - They mostly stay in the sand, but will sometimes make short trips up the glass. They are mainly detritus eaters and do an excellent job cleaning and shifting the sand. I think these are also some of the most hardy snails out there. These guys can flip themselves upright very easily and quickly. They are fun to watch as they come bursting out of the sand bed at feeding time.

Nerite Snails - Nerites feed on filamentous and film-forming cyanobacteria, and filamentous green algae, but the main diet of most nerites is diatoms. These guys like to crawl out of the water some. I recently found one that "jumped ship" and was on the outside rim of the tank. These are great snails, but also have trouble turning themselves back over. Mine usually end up in the sump where they can get above the water line and come back down when they want to.

Stomatella Snails - They are supposed to reproduce very well. No personal experience w/ them.

Strombus Snails (Strombus maculatus )these are excellent snails that reproduce very well. They seem to be mostly sandbed snails and will occasionally make there way up to about the 1-3 inch line of rock work.
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Old 11-21-2010, 11:23 AM   #6
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I agree with Mr. X. Things look and sound pretty good. I wouldn't adjust the lights just yet either. The only thing I would do is increase the volume of water you change each time. I had the same tank when I got started in the SW hobby and I was changing 20g+ every other week. I would jump up to at least 10g every week and see how that does to help out.
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:16 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the advice! i will definitely be increasing my water change amount. Also getting another power head. hopefully i'll be able to save up enough $$$ for a protein skimmer. (i'm a little broke after upgrading the lighting) but my bleached condy is starting to get some color so i'm pleased about that. Maybe a stupid question but When people say thaw and rinse frozen food, are you guys referring to frozen cubes like mysis shrimp?
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:30 AM   #8
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yes. thaw it in a fish net or something and dip the net in a cup of tank water.

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algae, tan

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