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Old 09-16-2007, 09:35 PM   #11
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I agree that the use of marco is a good option for nutrient export. However, saying that clams and some corals require NO3 may be bit of stretch. I have read that clams can process NO3 (they do have a lot in the lagoons of their natural habbitate). But I would not call NO3 benefical or a fuel sorce to these animals by any means.
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Old 09-16-2007, 09:35 PM   #12
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I have yet to find any animal that will effectively cure a hair algae problem.
Very true, which is why you need several different types of animals to do the task...and good maintenance on water quality and light control. As single units, none of these methods will control any algae, but collectively can be very effective.

There'll never be a single solution.
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Old 09-16-2007, 10:30 PM   #13
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Clams utilize it more than coral, but both utilize nitrates as a food source. Variations of natural nutrients is always beneficial. Also, if it's something it eats in the wild, it should be something they have available to them in captivity. Whether there's significant differences in biological processes with or without nitrates, I don't know, but it's my train of thought to try to provide as much of what nature would provide.

It's understandable why people tend to panic over any trace amounts of nitrates when it comes to algae...it is a PITA to deal with...but in several years of observation, 5ppm is enough without having to go haywire on the tank. A handful of reef hermits, snails and if one doesn't care about coralline algae being eaten, urchins and starfish can do a very effective job in maintaining the growth. I'd only worry about nitrates in a reef it were 10ppm or more.

If there is a problem with algae in a low nitrate system, then there's another source to the problem and that's the source that should be emphasized on, because it's that source there's too much of. Cutting ideally low levels of nitrates when it's something else, only leads to still needing to deal with the source of the problem rather than ridding or controlling the problem.

I just see worrying over 5ppm of nitrates as an extra step that can be done away without.
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Old 09-16-2007, 10:46 PM   #14
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If you have NO3 and algae problems, I'll bet money you also have excessive PO4 levels. PO4 and NO3 are the two primary sources of fuel for nuisance algae's. PO4 over 0.03 meg/l is too high and will cause issues such as you are seeing. Some people need to use two DI units after their RO b/c one will not always remove all the PO4 from the tap water. So in that case, if not using two DI units, every PWC adds more fuel to the problem and is counter productive.

1)Buy a quality PO4 test such as Salifert brand. Many others don't go low enough on the scale to be of any use to SW aquarist who need to be able to detect even minute amounts.
2)Test your tank AND source water for PO4. Levels above 0.03 meg/l are unacceptable (even more so if your already having algae issues). If levels are too high take steps to correct it such as large PWC's using PO4 free water and use a PO4 reducer such as Rowaphos or Phosban. A reactor utilizing either media would be a wise investment for you IMO, though you can just place it in a bag in a high flow area and receive some benfit.
3)Don't overstock or overfeed(or add any new animals, esp. fish, for that matter until things clear up). Feed sparingly until the algae is gone.
4)Keep water flow and tank turnover high. Algae will grow faster in low PH tanks and areas.
5) Manually remove as much algae as possible. Giving the rock a good scrubbing and rinsing them in clean SW will help provide a "fresh" start.
6)READ. Search the forums and the web. You will literally find thousands of posts on this subject w/ tons of ideas and info.
HTH and good luck
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:13 AM   #15
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nice,
so much info! i thank all of you for your help. to answer a few of you guys question..

water source.. i live in a small apt. i can not have a rodi unit in my place.. land lords old and funny like that..hehe.. i have a 30g if that makes a difference. for water i have to use food lion distilled water (red jug) i do 5g every other week. for salt i bough a huge tube of it from my local fish store reef crystals i have had this tub since i started this 30g// its a 250g mix and its getting low but i think i might have enough for a few more changes.

adding more lighting to top of tank... is is going to be impossible.. my current light i have on there now is taking up 2/3 of the top of the tank as it is now. coupled with my protein skimmer there is just no more room for any type of lighting.

as for checking po4 i can do that too i dont have a test on me but i can take to local fish store and see if they can.

today when i get out of class i am going to try to remove as much as i can and do another water change. i cant buy hermits right now cause i dont trust my LFS when it comes to fish and inverts i have never had any luck with their fish living longer then 2 weeks.

later on today i am going to take a picture of a few tthings i am also concerned about. i will post on forms later today.

i hope this helps and i will get back to you on the feed back i get from the test results.
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