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Old 06-02-2010, 05:31 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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Old 06-03-2010, 03:46 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, 09:21 AM   #3
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Nice post. You added an angle that is often missed.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:27 AM   #4
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Some great info here, especially for those that are fighting the nuisance stuff. Great report Catmel!
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:18 PM   #5
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Looks pretty good to me also. Good job.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:41 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
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