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Old 10-11-2006, 02:06 AM   #1
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lots of lime green algae

In my new 14 gallon nano-cube tank there has been a huge build up of a lime green colored algae on my glass almost daily. I leave for a couple of hours and its there again when I come back. I am scraping it off nightly and by the next day it is back to where I started. There are only two damsels, live rock/sand, and a couple of crabs/snails in the tank.. It is using an activated carbon filter along with some bio balls and some ceramic ring pieces.

Any ideas on how to cut down on this?

Thanks!
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:15 AM   #2
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What are your water parameters testing at (actual numbers), what is your lighting and how long are they on. You also might wish to replace your bio-balls with some lr rubble. Bio-balls are notorious as nitrate havens. Are you running AC? If so, when did you change it last?
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Old 10-11-2006, 03:34 AM   #3
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Everything is brand new, running a Coralife 10,000 K 24 watt and a Coralife 10,000 K 24 Watt dual tube light bulb. I run them for probably around 10 hours a day. At night there are these cool LED moon lights built in.. pretty neat I must say.

I was planning on replacing the bio-balls but I wanted to do it slowly as the tank just finished cycling. I took some out and put in the ceramic rings but there are a few balls left. Eventually I was planning to phase them out.

I am running a pouch of AC which is also fairly new (less than two weeks old probably), it does have an eclipse brand style insert that I assume also has AC that has been in the tank throughout cycling/etc, it is probably 3 weeks old. The tank is one of those Oceanic bio-cube systems so everything is built in.

Water Parameters were just tested five minutes ago.

PH 8.2
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 1.0
Nitrate 0

The nitrites are still high obviously but I assume they will come down with time. I am testing with an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Saltwater Master Test Kit.

Any ideas?
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Old 10-11-2006, 03:45 AM   #4
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First, I would shorten your light cycle (cut it down to about 8hrs/day).

Second, how long has the tank been set up (the way I read it about 3 weeks?), just as a heads up if so, you'll get grief about cycling with live fish (I did to on bad advice from a LFS, before I found AA).

Third, what type of water are you using (RO/DI, distilled, tap)?

Algea usually comes from a couple of sources Phosphate and excessive light. If you are not using ro/di water, you may have high phosphates in the water that you are starting with.

Does the algea look like tiny hairs? If so, there are some snails hermits, and fish that will eat it.
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Old 10-11-2006, 03:51 AM   #5
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Tank has been set up about 3.5 weeks. Fish just went in yesterday - didn't cycle with them in don't worry

I am using saltwater bought at my LFS since it is reasonably priced. However eventually I will probably start making my own.

The algea is only mostly on the sand/glass. Have not noticed any tiny hairs. But i do have some snails/hermits in there for the last few days too so they may have cleaned up whatever was there.


The algea looks like the basic algea you get on the glass, but it is just neon green in color. Maybe in a tank this size it is more pronounced/grows quicker, but on my old tanks I don't remember walking away for most of the day and coming back to having it full of algea.

I am not too sure what it is exactly though. The rocks themselves are pretty clean of algea...
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Old 10-11-2006, 04:10 AM   #6
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If your nitrites are still that high, you probably have not completed your cycle. Most people will agree that it take 6-8 weeks for a complete cycle.

See if your lfs can check your phosphate levels for you. I think with that and cutting back your light time should help quite a bit.

I am sure someone with lots more experience will pop in later and give more advice though
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Old 10-11-2006, 04:16 AM   #7
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thanks, I am still looking for a good LFS store.. they all have said that they thought my cycle was done since it is only a 14 gallon tank and it peaked two weeks ago and has been coming down ever since.. I should add that all of the rock/sand/about 75 percent of the water came from a tank that had been cycling for an additional two weeks until it the lights lit on fire and I swapped brands.. but that is another story... so all in all, it has been about 4 or 5 weeks cycling including the time in the old tank..

hopefully the cycle is close to complete.. otherwise I would not be pleased to be cycling with live fish..

i will cut down on the light time, what do phosphate levels depend upon? are those related to the lights?
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Old 10-11-2006, 04:35 AM   #8
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The rock and sand are whats important to the cycle, the water has nothing to do with that, since you are wanting the benificial bacteria to attach to the rock and sand. Switching from one tank to another can increase the time of a cycle.

I have no clue as to what causes phosphates
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:34 AM   #9
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It does look like you are still in the process of your cycle. Sometimes LFS will have water which is high in Nitrates and phosphates so the next batch you get I want you to check it out with your test kit for these before you add it to your tank. I would also consider a blackout for your tank for a few days . It wont hurt your LR and fish. It will take out the light which is a fuel for the algea. And the last thing is important. If your SW from the LFS test OK you need to do some frequent PWC`s to your tank. 25% maybe two or three times a week and make sure your FW topoff water is RO or RO/DI. NO tap water. These PWC`s will help to get rid of excessive nutrients in your tank. Just some ideas. Good Luck.
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Old 10-11-2006, 04:17 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice. I just tested the water from the LFS (I had an extra jug for water changes) and the nitrites actually did come back high (around 1.0) and the nitrates high as well around 5.0. This couldn't be because it has been sitting in a jug for a week or so right?

I am a bit confused now, I always assumed that using sea water was the best thing... I don't know where I would get RO or RO/DI water either.. If someone could clarify what all this means it would be great! Thanks!
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