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Old 11-24-2008, 06:54 PM   #1
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Can anyone help me with SLOW coraline algae growth?

I have a 55 gallon tank with 65# of live rock currently. I bought 20# from my LFS that has lots of coraline algae already on it and 45# of Fuji that I bought from Drs Foster. The tank has been going since July 1 of this year. I am using a wet dry filter with a Octopus 100F skimmer and have a Nova T5 216 watt light. The problem I am having is that I thought I would have much more coraline algae growth than what I currently have. Any suggestions? Here are my water parimeters. I am using Instant ocean salt mixed with RO water at 1.023-1.024 and keep the light on for 8 hours a day. Hope I didnt forget anything.
KH-10
High range PH- 7.8 checked at 11:00 AM before lights came on
Amonia-0
Nitrate-0
Nitite-0
phosphate-0
calcium 400
temp-74
I have used Purple up before, about 2 capfulls per week. My LFS told me today that my High range PH is low (should be 8.3) and they sold me some Seachem Marine buffer. Should I use it? I know this tank should be more purple than it is, please help!
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:42 PM   #2
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I believe the main three when it comes to coralline is Alk, calcium and magnesium. Also your temp is a little on the cool side. I would suggest bumping you heater up to 78. That has nothing to do with the coralline though. Get us a mag reading if possible. Also how often are you doing PWC`s?
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:46 PM   #3
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Your PH should be 8.2 (your LFS is right). Your temp is too low- 78 is more like it and your salinity should be 1.024-1.025 (the ocean is 1.026). Get those levels in check and you'll have nice coraline within 2 months. At least your calcium is good. Probably the Purple up.
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:57 PM   #4
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I do a 10% water change once a week. Right now I dont have a magnesium tester, will have to get one this week. I am checking my temp in the sump. Is this the correct place or should I move thermometer into the tank?
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Old 11-24-2008, 09:10 PM   #5
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I have mine in the tank. I dont know if it really matters but I want to know what`s going on in the tank.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:22 PM   #6
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I'm so glad this issue came up. I have a 140 sw, was set up in June. I have had good coraline growth all over my tank, everything is turning purple.
BUT! in the last 2 weeks I have noticed some of the coraline spots are either turning brownish/green or have something on them. Do I have alge growing on the coraline? My alk. is 8.2 and cal. is 340. I have been adding, (B-Ionic) calcium and alkalinity system. This has only raised the cal. from 320 to 340. I thought it should be higher. Is this all normal?
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:36 AM   #7
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I'm thinking your coraline dieing off due to low calcium. When I started my tank, and before I was watching my ca/alk levels, the coraline starting dieing when my Ca dipped below 340. Once the coraline starts to take hold, it can suck up a bit of calcium out of the water and your levels will drop.

B-Ionic just maintains existing calcium/alk levels. It's best to raise your Calcium levels with something like TurboCalcium, and then figure out what amount of 2-part solution you need to use to maintain that level. I currently boost my Reef Crystals up to 400-420 ppm and then use 20ml of C-Balance (in a 46g tank) each morning.

Here's a good article for keeping your ca/alk levels balanced as you adjust things up:

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2002/chem.htm
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Got Water? View Post
My alk. is 8.2 and cal. is 340.
Both are too low. Alk should be closer to 10 dKH and ca 420ppm. Did you test magnesium? What brand salt do you use?
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:46 AM   #9
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If I want some good coraline growth, I add 2 - 3 teaspoons of kalkwasser to the auto top off bucket for a couple weeks. That really sends the coraline into high gear. As pointed out, your alk and Ca (mg of course) all need to be in good shape however. Kalk is really made for maint not raising params. I shoot for 8 dkh and about 380 to 400ppm on Ca, but everyone has their theory...

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Old 12-03-2008, 08:27 AM   #10
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I think everyone has pretty much nailed it down. Raise your PH to 8.2ish. Mine hovers around 8 and I don't mind that. I also supplement my CA but I have a heavy load of SPS CA hungry corals in my system. My CA levels are usually around 450. Flow, lighting, filtration and what you have in your system consuming CA makes all the difference in how well your coraline will grow. Personally I'm not as concerned about everything being purple in my tank. When I first started out with my 72 EVERYTHING was purple including my power heads, after I started adding SPS corals to my system the coraline dropped off as the SPS grew.

As long as you keep your parameters at the optimum you should see your coraline growing but keep in mind if you start adding CA demanding corals they are going to consume that CA and your coraline will decline or stop growing.
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