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Old 03-30-2008, 11:40 PM   #1
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Phosphates and Algae

Hey all, When I first setup up my tank I used tap water to fill it. I know I know, I shouldn't have, but its done. I, unfortunately, didn't test the tap water for Phosphates until now. My tap water shows 1PPM phosphate, yet my tank water shows none.

Now as my tank is still cycling, I've left the lights on for a few hours a day,( trying to keep some polyps alive and happy ) and I have started to notice some hair algae ( as well as a lot of diatoms ). I guess thats what it is since its green, long and stringy. I don't have huge amounts, just some starting to grow on a few spots here and there on the rocks, but its becoming noticeable.

Since my tank water shows 0 Phosphates ( I just tested ) would it be safe to say, the algae is due to the lights being on during the cycle?

Or, if it is because of the tap water, should I do a good 50% PWC now to reduce any trace amounts, IF any, of Phosphates?

I've also been topping off with distilled water. The label on the distilled water bottle says "processed by, UV, Micron filtration, distillation and ozonation" I assume this is good since I've also tested this water and I get 0 for NO2 NO3 Ammonia and Phosphates.

Oh and before someone else says it. I will have a RO/DI unit shortly probably from these guys AQUARIUM RO 2DI REVERSE OSMOSIS WATER FILTRATION SYSTEM - eBay (item 350041223141 end time Mar-31-08 09:29:25 PDT).


Today's numbers are:
Ammonia: .25
Nitrites:0
Nitrates:10
Phosphates:0
PH: 8.6 (few days ago it was 8.2 )
Temp:80
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:55 PM   #2
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That RO/DI unit you are ordering will save you a lot of headache you'll be glad you ordered it for sure.

How long has your tank been setup for? did you recently purchase the polyps?
The light is definately helping the algae thrive but there has to be something the algae is feeding on such as phospates etc...for it to grow. Your kinda stuck you need the light for the polyps but you don't want too much light right now because it will grow the algae. This is why you should wait to add any corals until the tank has cycled fully and your using purified water. And since your cycle is not complete doing a 50% water change will only stall the cycle. Can you return the polyps to the LFS perhaps and let the cycle run its course?
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:27 AM   #3
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The tank is just over 5 weeks old. The polyps hitchhiked on the LR so they are trying hang in there while the tank cycles. I have not added any inhabitants to the tank. Whatever is living in the tank came on the rocks( some peanut worms, feather dusters, sponges and those polyps. )
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:42 AM   #4
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I would say just let the cycle run its course. And test every few days to see where you are at. Are you just cylcing the tank with live rock? Sounds like you got some good rock with lots of dead stuff for an ammonia source . Not using Purified water at this point will be ok. But the sooner you get your RO/DI unit the better. If I was you after the cycling finishes I would take your rocks and make sure to scrub all the leftover dead stuff off the rocks. Then do your 50% water change with RO/DI saltwater. Wait another week or 2 just to be sure before you add any livestock
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:56 AM   #5
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Well I'm not using tap water anymore so thats good. And at least I'm using distilled water for the top offs until the RO /DI unit arrives.

If i'm reading you correctly, cutting back the amount of time the lights are on should help with the algae.

Could there still be some phosphates in the tank water feeding the algae even though my tests indicate 0 phosphates?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 03-31-2008, 01:02 AM   #6
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Algae grows on Nitrates as well. And cutting back the light will definately help but the cycling process also yeilds some algae blooms until the tank becomes mature here is a good article to Algae control. FantasyReef Databases-Viewing item "10 Step Plan for Nuisance Algae Control"
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Old 03-31-2008, 01:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fijiwigi View Post
Algae grows on Nitrates as well. And cutting back the light will definately help but the cycling process also yeilds some algae blooms until the tank becomes mature here is a good article to Algae control. FantasyReef Databases-Viewing item "10 Step Plan for Nuisance Algae Control"
Ok, it makes sense now. Nitrates i do have and been pretty constant around 10. so that explains alot.

I was actually just reading that same article. Thanks though. For some reason I didn't make the connection with the nitrates until you mentioned it.
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:28 PM   #8
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Here`s a good article on tap water. Follow that 10 step plan that Fijiwigi gave you. It`s a tried and tested plan.

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Old 03-31-2008, 10:16 PM   #9
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Here`s a good article on tap water. Follow that 10 step plan that Fijiwigi gave you. It`s a tried and tested plan.

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Great article, thanks for the link.
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