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Old 06-24-2011, 10:36 AM   #1
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Algea and substrate problems

I need some serious help. I always ask questions and never really receive the answer I'm looking for. I'm a very big saltwater noob but im trying to learn as much as I can. I do research, I ask questions, Look through other threads just to gain some more knowledge, I started off listening to my LFS, not doing ANY research of any kind before he talked me into begining a salt water tank. My mistake!

I have a 50 gallon tank with Live rock and corals, nearly 1 year old now. My fish include 2 Black clown fish, Red Corris Wrasse, Blue Tang. I also have 10+ Hermit Crabs/Snails running around, Blue Starfish and a Sea Abalone.

I have bad diatoms for months just after I started my tank and it cleared up in February, my tank was crystal clear, barely got any algae growing on the glass. Now i'm stuggling to maintain my tank after my 12 hour shifts each day, the algae is so stubborn on my glass It hurts my hands to get it off. Thats not all, my Substrate is not white anymore, its going between red (cyano?) and brown (diatoms?), im also daily using a "aqua vacume". My tank is by a window but it's always got a blind on it (no visible light). Now there is growing red and green algae on some of my corals, and they are doing very poor now. I have t5's 4x 39 watt. I have 1x wave maker, Marisys protein skimmer/filter. had a uv steralizer but it just broke... I really dont want to lose any corals, im not sure what to do anymore.

My sea fan (Gorgonian i think) is starting to turn red and green, the bottom of it is starting to turn black and some "coral" is missing, making the skeleton visible.



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This leather coral has green hard algae all over it, could only get it off by scraping it with my finger nail (not to hard..) wasnt sure if it was the right thing to do. It hasnt been outsince



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This is some weird hair green algae ive noticed growing


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all my other corals/anemone look normal and healthy


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feeding marine snow.
My phosphate is 0.25 (I have phosphate removal media)
Calcium - 440
Ammonia/Nitrate/Nitrite is 0
PH 8.4
temp -79 farenheit
Salinity - 1.028

can someone pleaseee help me! i will appreciate any advice at all, anything is welcome!!
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:41 AM   #2
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You might need to cut down the hours of your lighting cycle do an 8 hour.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:42 AM   #3
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My lights arent on the full 12 hours im away, they are on for 10 hours each day but I will cut it down
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:49 AM   #4
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Ok, first things first, what are your parameters? Specifically, what are your nitrate and phosphate readings, as they are the main source of fuel for algae.

For the cyano, you can use Boyd's chemi-clean to kill it off, but you need to get a handle on the excess nutrients or it will just come back.

As for the green algae, you could get an army of snails to clean the glass for you. They'll help keep it manageable so scrapping won't be too difficult. If your corals are mounted securely, I'd go with some Turbo snails. They are the algae bulldozers.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:50 AM   #5
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I only run my white for four hours a day and ten hours on week end.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:51 AM   #6
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i wrote my parameters in my post above
My phosphate is 0.25 (I have phosphate removal media)
Calcium - 440
Ammonia/Nitrate/Nitrite is 0
PH 8.4
temp -79 farenheit
Salinity - 1.028
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:56 AM   #7
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Ahh, didn't see them at the bottom. If your running media for phosphates and your still reading 0.25 then it may be time to change out the media. Another thing is the Marine Snow, that stuff can foul your water up real fast if you over feed.

What is your water change schedule?
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:58 AM   #8
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week 1 - 40% wc
week 2 - 25% wc
repeated
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:59 AM   #9
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Are you using RO/DI water for your pwc?
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:00 AM   #10
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No im using conditioned rain water. unable to get a RO unit.
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