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Old 06-02-2010, 04:31 PM   #1
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Help for those with Algae Issues - Please read! :)

From time to time I feel inspired to write an 'article' here about the importance of issues with pets / tanks/ fish etc. I would like to share my experiences with my frustrating algae/cyano(red slime) issue and explain a little deeper the article found on this site ( wonderful articles)

First off, one of the most important things you need to do when setting up a saltwater tank is of course include live rock and to place correctly ( especially if you're going to keep corals, it helps with keeping good bacteria and of course a place for fish to hide and to put corals). This is one of the major mistakes I did when starting up my tank - I didnt set up the rock correctly. I had 80# of live rock ( I got a majority of it online at a good price.. the only draw back was I could not pick the shapes) I had about 4 large (10# roughly.. and about 5-6 inches across 'round' ) base pieces that I started out with amd since I had a lot of smaller odd shaped rocks, I stacked them up against the back part of the tank and on top of each other.. this left me with little room / holes inbetween the rocks.. I thought it looked ok, and it seemed to hold up the coral frags that I had well.

Several weeks later ( after putting on the new lights) I started to have horrible green hair algae issues. I was scrubbing the rocks daily.. very very bad blankets of green hair. I purchased a HOB fuge, phosphate reactor, and started the vodka method from a suggestion ( please research this very carefully if you use it, I wouldnt recommend it for everyone - stopped shortly afer trying it) and various other things. No luck. The green hair slowly went away after dosing vodka, but then I got a massive (covering everything blanket) amt of red slime.. vacuumed like crazy to no avail.

Finally after realizing I may have bad flow I reorganized my rocks, took out some big pieces in the middle and rearranged my power heads to allow better flow. I could not beleive all the deitrus that had accumulated begind those rocks! It was a big brown cloud of gunk, quite discusting. I did a 50% water change followed by 10-20% weekly (instead of every two week) water changes and my algae is gone!!! I've included the before and after pictures, though it is mostly a work in progress to show you how I changed everything and what worked for me.

summary of what helped:
1)**open rock formation to allow good flow ( no big clumps of rocks together) ** ( this seemed to be the most important part)
2)weekly water changes of at least 10%
3)Some good power heads (# depending on your tank size)
4)Vaccuming any spots of the sand where you see deitrus accumilating ( a good open flow design will help this, too)
5)increasing amount of clean up crew members
6) use Ro/DI water for PWC and top off!!! ( very important as well)

** try changing these things before using bandaid solutions like chemicals etc - they may get rid of algae temporarily, but speaking from experience, if hte problem is not fixed, it will keep coming back - plus chemicals, even though they may say they're safe for inverts etc may cause damage - research!**

top picture is before
bottom picture is after

and just an FYI with my pictures, I do have a juvie yellow tang in my tank, I know the requirements and know theres varying opinions - an upgrade is in the near future He's a little guy. So no comments on that please - just doing my best to help with lots of those out there with algae issues.. enjoy!

Also included are the articles I mentioned:

red slime article:Cyanobacteria, AKA Red Slime Algae

general algae
Algae control in salt water tanks
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75 Gallon Saltwater Reef

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Old 06-03-2010, 02:46 AM   #2
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Nice post catmel!!! I think this is informitive for anyone...learned my lesson about RO water serveral years ago...wont go down that road twice!

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Old 06-03-2010, 08:21 AM   #3
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Nice post. You added an angle that is often missed.
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:27 AM   #4
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Some great info here, especially for those that are fighting the nuisance stuff. Great report Catmel!
"If your wife ever asks how much something was for your tank, just tell her you got it on sale and you had to have it! She'll understand"

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Old 06-03-2010, 01:18 PM   #5
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Looks pretty good to me also. Good job.
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Old 06-03-2010, 08:41 PM   #6
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glad to help I just wish I would have thought to do it sooner.. hopefully this will help save someone some frustration

75 Gallon Saltwater Reef

Just your average LVT (licenced vet tech) trying to help the world's animals!!
- Melinda
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algae, hose

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