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Old 03-21-2008, 01:20 AM   #1
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Brown Algea

Hey. I recently got my tank operational. Have 30g long with 21 lbs live rock (adding more) and 20 lbs livesand and 2 clowns. Havent seen much corraline growth yet because I have only had it up for 2 weeks. Levels are good and the clowns have been in for 3 days.

Seeing brown algea growth on the live rock already! That sure was fast after adding life. Anyway...

Feeding less was one thing I thought of, but I only feed once a day to begin with.

What else should I watch for to control this before it gets ridiculous and messes with my corraline growth. (I am also using purple up once every other day..... increase to every day?)

Also can i add a snail to help control this or will he eat my corraline?
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:26 AM   #2
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Did you cycle the tank and see an ammonia spike, then a nitrite spike, then see both of those things go to zero? Just curious because two weeks is a really quick cycle - unless you used cured live rock.

Regardless of the answer to that... the brown algae is most likely diatoms. Does it kind of look like brown rust and blows around easily? Diatoms are a pretty normal part of cycling/starting up a tank. You could probably put 10-20 snails in there (astrea and trochus are my preference) and they'll make a quick meal of the diatoms.

Diatoms don't mess with coraline growth. Neither do snails. And personally, I'd save the money and stop adding the PurpleUp. If you're doing frequent water changes, have your Calcium above 360 and your alkalinity above 8 dkH, you'll get coralline... assuming you have some rock in your tank that has it to start with. (You need coraline to make coraline.) If you started with dry base rock (which I hope you didn't - see initial comment about cycling) then no matter what you add you won't see any coraline growth. A good rule to stick with is to test for anything that you dose into your tank. With that said, have you tested your calcium and alkalinity to know where you're at before adding the PurpleUp?

Again... have patience, and you'll see coraline spread. Adding stuff to speed things up does nothing but throw your water parameters off kilter. And in a new tank, it's going to take 3 months or so for things to settle down.
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:02 AM   #3
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Kurt-
Thanks for the response. I used cured live rock, so i guess you'd say I have started the cycle. I waited a week with just salt water and then another week with the rock and then added the clowns. It must be the normal part of the cycle you speak of because the next day after feeding the fish the algea started up. Some of the rock I added had nice purple growth on it, so I have some corraline in my tank.

Good news about the snails, I think I will add a few. I had seen a pic of someones tank on here and it said before and after snails. It looked like the snails ate all his nice purple growth so I was going to forgo snails completely based on that.

Thanks again Kurt. If anyone has anything to add its appreciated.
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Old 03-21-2008, 11:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandown123 View Post
Kurt-
Thanks for the response. I used cured live rock, so i guess you'd say I have started the cycle. I waited a week with just salt water and then another week with the rock and then added the clowns. It must be the normal part of the cycle you speak of because the next day after feeding the fish the algea started up. Some of the rock I added had nice purple growth on it, so I have some corraline in my tank.
Did you test for ammonia during that time? Did you see any? Are you seeing any nitrAtes showing up? Even with cured rock, I still like to recommend that folks put some ammonia source in there (fish food, etc) to generate a mini cycle and see nitrates show up to insure they've safe to add livestock. You might want to be checking every other day or so for ammonia/nitrites/nitrates just to make sure things are going OK.

Quote:
I had seen a pic of someones tank on here and it said before and after snails. It looked like the snails ate all his nice purple growth so I was going to forgo snails completely based on that.
LOL! I think that was MY gallery! If it was, the before picture showed a brown dusting of diatoms over everything. The after picture showed stark white rock and sand. It wasn't purple growth, but the diatoms that the snails had eaten. Coraline algae didn't start showing up until the tank had been going for 3 months or so. You need snails in your tank to keep algae in check.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:18 PM   #5
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if it was your pic thats funny Kurt. The thread was like "SNAILS : Before and After!" or something. I think I am going to pick up a few today after work. I also want a few hermit crabs. Should I slowly raise my salinity towards 1.024-.025?

I am at 1.022-1.023
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:20 PM   #6
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P.S. this is my first saltwater tank but I want to slowly add cooler and cooler reef things to my system as it matures/I learn.
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:26 PM   #7
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Just continue to do pwc's using water at 1.025 or even 1.026. Get the SG to 1.025 and keep it there for a reef tank. Do not add any additional fish for a month. Let the bacteria catch up to the bioload you have already added to the tank.

As for addng more LR now that you have livestock in there, you need to be sure that the rock is fully cured and get it home from the lfs and into the tank in less than an hour or so so you don't get any die off. Add only a couple (few) of pounds at a time now. You couild also add base rock at will. Just place it under your LR for a better look. In 6 months you won't be able to tell the difference.
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:56 PM   #8
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thanks cmore. I will do this when I start PWCs but I was told at LFS to leave the water to go through the cycle without changing for about a month at first to let bacterias grow. IS this correct information? I will be adding cured rock purchased from LFS. I have in there about 20 lbs in the form of 2 huge pieces which will be my base.
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:14 PM   #9
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Reading your other post where you say you're cycling with the clown fish in there, have you tested for ammonia and nitrites? What are your levels?

Your LFS is giving you really bad info if they are telling you to cycle your tank with a clown and NOT do any water changes. When cycling a tank using an ammonia source (dead cocktail shrimp, fish food, etc... NOT fish) it's best not to change water. Changing the water can slow down the cycle. But if you're cycling with fish, if you let your ammonia get too high, your fish will die. You need to do PWCs to keep the ammonia levels down, preferably less than 0.25ppm or so. Ideally... they should be zero, but that's not going to help you get the tank cycled.

Adding cured live rock after the cycle is OK, as long as it's not out of the water too long. If it's coming from a local shop, then you'll probably be OK.
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:44 PM   #10
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I tested before I put them in there which had the rock in for a week and everything was OK. I will check when I get home again. They look very content and healthy right now, so fingers crossed. My friend moved very quickly in the setup of his tank (quickly even compared to my apparantly quick pace) and his tank is also doing very well. The rock is cured and had been in the store tank for a few weeks before I even started stopping by and well before i picked it up and put it in the tank... there was little/no die off I could see, and actually there is some small amount of growth.

I thank you for your help on this. I want to be the best aquarist i can be, this board and your advice is an invaluable resource. Thanks!
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