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Old 01-31-2009, 06:32 PM   #1
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Cleaning my tank messed up my tank!

We recently had things going pretty well in our 32 gallon salt water tank. Water testing was great (except for a smidge of trouble with the alkalinity) and brown algae was under control with the help of a clean up crew...snails, hermits. My live rock was beigning to show some green and purple color.
I tore down the pumps and cleanded them, along with the skimmer, replace the filters and carbon. One item is a mesh bag of ceramic tubes that as I understand it creates happy bacteria. It had gotten kinda gunky (the mesh bag) so I used some of the old water I had just siphon dform the tank to swish it out and replaced it. Now, the brown alge is back in a big way and it started nearly the day after cleaning day. I obviously screwed up my cleaning. What did I do wrong?
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:38 PM   #2
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First off Welcome to AA.
Now, on to the problem. The problem was most likely that you cleaned all of your filter media at once. you usually only want to clean it one by one, or carbon on one pwc, creamic on the next, and ponge on the next, or whatever media you have.
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:41 PM   #3
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Is there a good way to clean the ceramic? Both times this implosion of algae happened, it seemed related to the ceramic. (first time I washed ot off under tap water, now that was STUPID). I'm happy to stagger my cleaning if that'll help, it's so sad to see the algae choking the rocks again.
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:51 PM   #4
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Yeah, when you clean everything you kill off/remove alot of bacteria, so just rinse/swish/clean it in your old sw from a pwc and you're good to go!
Good Luck!
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:10 PM   #5
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Yes I think Hockey might have a good point. You might have got rid of alot of your nitrifying bacteria. Keep some PWC water around just in case. BTW welcome to AA
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Old 01-31-2009, 08:21 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum. I have recently been down your road too, and thanks to the folks on here and some of the same advice I am algae free. You might also want to go a few days with out lights to kill off what has popped up. Good luck!!
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:23 PM   #7
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Sounds like just a harmless diatom bloom. I know I've done a little too much cleaning of my sand bed when I get one a couple days later in that area. As others have noted, it's good to stagger the major cleaning/rinsing of things. Keep a log book, and it'll make it easier to remember when and what you need to clean next.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:27 PM   #8
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I agree. Sounds diatom-ish to me too.

And like mentioned, keep an eye on the ammonia and your other testing. May have gotten rid of too much of the good bacteria with all that cleaning.
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